Association for Bahá’í Studies
41st Annual Conference

Hyatt Regency Orange County, California, USA
9am August 10 to 1pm August 13, 2017


Since its establishment more than 40 years ago,  the Association for Bahá’í Studies has existed to enrich the intellectual life of its participants and of the Bahá’í community. The annual conference is one way in which the Association brings together a growing number of participants to explore the implications of the Bahá’í teachings for a variety of disciplines, professions, and fields of inquiry. Our common purpose is to examine the ideas, concepts, and theories operating within the scholarly and professional disciplines, and to pursue knowledge that is associated with an evolving tradition of Bahá’í thought.

With this purpose in mind, the conference serves as a venue in which fresh approaches can be taken to generate and apply knowledge related to various disciplines and fields of study. Participants are invited to consider how they can play a role in working with others “to earnestly strive to reflect on the implications that the truths found in the Revelation may hold for their work.”[1] Plenary sessions help to raise our vision and frame our thinking, and breakout sessions create spaces where specialized presentations and discussion can proceed. Across these different settings participants will discover new ideas and begin to explore collaborative enterprises that will extend new lines of inquiry. We hope that the format and spirit of the conference will be conducive to participation so that all can see themselves as actively engaged in a vibrant, inclusive, and uplifting process of learning.


Call for Breakout Session Proposals

The deadline for submission of proposals is 1 April 2017. Proposals must be submitted online. 

The Association for Bahá’í Studies welcomes proposals for presentations in breakout sessions focusing on any subject of Bahá’í scholarship. The goal of the breakout sessions is to stimulate and promote intellectual inquiry across a broad range of themes. Proposals from all disciplines and professions are welcome, including the sciences, humanities, and fine arts. The format for breakout sessions lends itself to sharing works-in-progress as well as formal research findings. Breakout sessions are intended for the presentation and discussion of original work, as distinct from practical workshops or facilitated discussions that can be found in other community gatherings. They do not need to follow the format of a traditional academic presentation, but presenters should be well-grounded in the subject on which they are speaking.

Proposals may be submitted for a single paper (60-minute session), or for an entire panel of up to three people (90-minute session). At least a third of the session must be devoted to discussion and questions from the audience. Proposals should be submitted online and include a summary (300-500 words) of the proposed presentation(s), accompanied by a 100-word abstract and 50-word bio that can be published in the conference program.

Owing to practical constraints, the selection committee cannot accept all proposals. The selection committee will approve proposals on the basis of the following considerations: contribution to knowledge, suitability of the topic for the ABS conference, relevant background of the speaker to address the topic, clarity of the proposal, overall variety of the program, and overall diversity of the presenters. Youth, young adults, and first-time presenters are particularly encouraged to apply.


Registration and Hotel Information

Conference registration and hotel information are available on the ABS website: For further inquiries, please contact the Association for Bahá’í Studies, 34 Copernicus St., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 7K4; tel.: 613-233-1903 or e-mail: <>.

Hotel reservations must be made directly with the conference hotel, Hyatt Regency Orange County, 11999 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA 92840. To book your room, please call the Reservations Department at 888-421-1442 and refer to the group name “Association for Baha’i Studies Conference.”

Room rates are $139.00 single/double, and $159 triple/quad occupancy. These rates are guaranteed only until Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Reservations made after the cut-off dates will be based on availability at the Hotel’s prevailing rates. The conference rates are extended to three days before and after the conference dates based on availability.


[1] The Universal House of Justice, Letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada, 24 July 2013.