Series Description

The Bahá’í Studies Series publishes monographs and other works of distinction in Bahá’í Studies, including the study of the Sacred Texts, theology, law, teachings, and principles of the Bahá’í Faith as well as the history of the Bahá’í religion (including its precursor movements, the Shaykhí school and the Bábí religion), its central figures, and the development of the Bahá’í community. Bahá’í Studies also encompasses the application of Bahá’í teachings and principles to the contemporary needs of humanity including (but not limited to) peace, human rights, ethics, governance, development, gender and family, the environment, the arts, race and ethnic relations, and Aboriginal peoples.

Author’s Guidelines:

▪   guidelines page
▪   printable format (pdf)

Contact the Series Editors

series [at] bahai-studies.ca – phone: 613-233-1903 – fax: 613-233-3644
by mail: 34 Copernicus Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 7K4 Canada

 

Editors, Benjamin Schewel and Geoffrey Cameron

Chapter 1 – Religion in an Age of Transition, Benjamin Schewel

Chapter 2 – Religion, Spiritual Principles, and Civil Society, David A. Palmer

Chapter 3 – Media and Public Discourse: Normative Foundations, Michael Karlberg
Chapter 4 – Education and Moral Empowerment: Raising Capacity for Participation in Public Discourse, Sona Farid-Arbab
Chapter 5 – An Inquiry into the Harmony of Science and Religion, Farzam Arbab
Chapter 6 – Bahá’í Participation in Public Discourse: Considerations Related to History, Concepts, and Approach,
Shahriar Razavi
Chapter 7 – Contributions to International Development Discourse: Exploring the Roles of Science and Religion,
Matthew Weinberg
Chapter 8 – A New Politics of Engagement: The Bahá’í International Community, the United Nations, and Gender Equality, Julia Berger
Chapter 9 – The Bahá’í Community and Public Policy: The Bahá’í Refugee Resettlement Program (1981–89), Geoffrey Cameron

“This book is an honest and sophisticated grappling with complex issues from a well-defined faith perspective. Scholars of religion, politics, and society will find that these chapters illustrate the ways Bahá’ís operate within a shared religious story to describe, imagine, interpret, and perhaps even improve powerful global forces creating the world we all share.”
— Paul Bramadat, Professor and Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, University of Victoria

“Finally, a collection on religion in the public sphere for the realities of our times. Carefully deliberated and highly coherent, this volume sets this topic on a new course. Its accessible and thought-provoking challenges make it of interest not only to scholars and students, but also to policy-makers, educators, and activists who are grappling with questions about the role of religion in society.”
— Nazila Ghanea, Associate Professor of International Human Rights Law, University of Oxford

Technology, tourism, politics, and law have connected human beings around the world more closely than ever before, but this closeness has, paradoxically, given rise to fear, distrust, and misunderstanding between nation-states and religions. In light of the tensions and conflicts that arise from these complex relationships, many search for ways to find peace and understanding through a “global public sphere.”
Contributors to this volume address various aspects of this challenge within the context of Bahá’í thought and practice, whose goal is to lay the foundations for a new world civilization that harmonizes the spiritual and material aspects of human existence. Bahá’í teachings view religion as a source of enduring insight that can enable humanity to repair and transcend patterns of disunity, to foster justice within the structures of society, and to advance the cause of peace. Accordingly, religion can and ought to play a role in the broader project of creating a pattern of public discourse capable of supporting humanity’s transition to the next stage in its collective development.

Geoffrey Cameron is a PhD candidate and Trudeau Scholar at the University of Toronto. He has degrees from Trent and Oxford Universities, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar. He is the co-author of Exceptional People: How Migration Changed the World and Will Define Our Future (2012).

Benjamin Schewel is a Fellow in the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Seven Ways of Looking at Religion (2017).

Gate of the Heartby Nader Saiedi

In 1844 a charismatic young Persian merchant from Shiraz known as the Báb electrified the Shí‘ih world by claiming to be the return of the Hidden Twelfth Imam of Islamic prophecy. But contrary to traditional expectations of apocalyptic holy war, the Báb maintained that the spiritual path was one of “love and compassion,” not “force and coercion.” The movement He founded was the precursor of the Bahá’í Faith, but until now the Báb’s own voluminous writings—complex, mystical, and highly symbolic—have been seldom studied and often misunderstood. This book offers the first in-depth introduction to the writings of the Báb.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the author examines the Báb’s major works in multifaceted context, explaining the unique theological system, mystical worldview, and interpretive principles they embody as well as the rhetorical and symbolic uses of language through which the Báb radically transforms traditional concepts. Arguing that the Bábí movement went far beyond an attempt at an Islamic Reformation, the author explores controversial issues and offers conclusions that will compel a reevaluation of some prevalent assumptions concerning the Báb’s station, claims, and laws.

Nader Saiedi’s meticulous and insightful analysis identifies the key themes, terms, and concepts that characterize each stage of the Báb’s writings, unlocking the code of the Báb’s mystical lexicon. Gate of the Heart is a subtle and profound textual study and an essential resource for anyone wishing to understand the theological foundations of the Bahá’í religion as well as the Báb’s significance in religious history.

“A pioneering and groundbreaking work…. provides fundamental keys for understanding some of the distinctive features of the writings of the Báb.”

— Vahid Rafati, Centre for the Study of the Text, Haifa, Israel

“A masterpiece…. For the first time in English a scholar who is well versed in Persian, Arabic, social science—especially sociology (including the sociology of religion and sociology of knowledge)—and with a great knowledge of the Bahá’í Holy Scriptures, has produced a scholarly introduction to the writings of the Báb, His station, and Bábí law.”

— Nosratollah Mohammadhosseini, author, The Báb