The Association for Baha’i Studies Online Book Review Repository

The Association for Baha’i Studies is happy to announce the development of an Online Book Review Repository  which will be open and accessible to everyone.  We sincerely believe that this exciting development in the evolution of the Journal of Baha’i Studies will be of benefit to our readership.

Over many decades there has been continuing growth and diversity of scholarship about the Baha’i Faith. This scholarship, which is from both within and without the Baha’i community, reflects a wide range of approaches, methodologies, and efforts to understanding the Baha’i Writings; the history, teachings, and community life of the Baha’i Faith; and the social, cultural, artistic expressions, and dimensions of the Baha’i Faith.   As well, consistent with the important theme in Baha’u’llah’s writings of cultivating knowledge that will contribute to the progress of society and the well-being of humanity, there have always been examples of approaches to the study of the Baha’i Faith that seek to contribute to addressing the challenges facing humanity collectively, as well as in our communities and individual lives.

Over its almost four decades of existence, the Association for Baha’i Studies has sought to reflect this growth and diversity of scholarship through the publication of book reviews about works of relevance to our understanding of the Baha’i Faith, as well as short commentaries on particular themes in the Baha’i Writings.   Book reviews and commentaries that play an important role in highlighting the particular value or significance of specific works or approaches to key issues and questions, can provide an opportunity for focused reflection on particular themes and can also present a portrait of the evolution and dynamism of scholarship related to the Baha’i Faith.

In 2014 the Association for Baha’i Studies announced that it would be transitioning from the publication of book reviews in the print version of the Journal of Baha’i Studies to online publication.  One of the main goals in making that transition was to provide a space and format in which an increasing number of book reviews could be presented in a wide diversity of formats and in a more timely manner, while supplemented by additional commentary that can link together the ideas or themes that demonstrate the growth of the study and publication of works about the Baha’i Faith.

In establishing this Online Book Review Repository, the Association for Baha’i Studies hopes that, over time, this web site will become an increasingly valuable resource which chronicles development of scholarship about the Baha’i Faith, as well as a window into how the Baha’i Faith is seeking to inform and participate in the social discourses regarding the challenges facing humanity.

The Online Book Review Repository will be broadly organized around the following topic areas:

  • Study of the Baha’i Writings and Teachings
  • History and Biography related to the Bahá’í Faith
  • Relationship of the Baha’i Faith to the Life of Society

In each of these topic areas the following approach will be taken:

  • Previously published book reviews from the print version of the Journal of Baha’i Studies will be placed online. This will happen on an on-going basis as the reviews are formatted and prepared for posting
  • New book reviews will be published on an on-going basis as reviews are approved for publication through the Journal for Baha’i Studies editorial process. All new book reviews will be clearly identified when posted.
  • New book reviews will typically be on works directly or expressly about the Baha’i Faith. However, we will also include book reviews on works which may not be directly or expressly on the Baha’i Faith but are relevant to informing our understanding of the topics areas and are analyzed in the book review from a perspective relevant to the study of the Baha’i Faith.
  • Occasional overview articles on trends or themes in published works on the Baha’i Faith will be prepared. These may chronicle the growth of a particular area of scholarship, or how a series of works are addressing a particular topic, issue, or discourse.

Very short snapshot reviews on certain publications will be provided from time to time as a service to enable members to be aware of newly available books that may be of interest to our readers, and be helpful in broadening our collective awareness of the increasing number of volumes being released by the various Bahá’í publishers.

We look forward to receiving feedback as the Repository is further developed.