I'm planning to start a new blog, and some new Web pages, about helping to transmit encouragement, support and learning through walls of prejudice and over gulfs of estrangement that divide people who are interested in the writings of Baha'u'llah. Before I start, I'd like comments from anyone here who would like to offer them.
Here are some ideas for visions, goals, strategies and references.
"The House of Justice advises you not to attempt to define too narrowly the form that Bahá'í scholarship should take, or the approach that scholars should adopt. Rather should you strive to develop within your Association respect for a wide range of approaches and endeavours. No doubt there will be some Bahá'ís who will wish to work in isolation, while others will desire consultation and collaboration with those having similar interests. Your aim should be to promote an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance within which will be included scholars whose principal interest is in theological issues as well as those scholars whose interests lie in relating the insights provided by the Bahá'í teachings to contemporary thought in the arts and sciences."
"A similar diversity should characterize the endeavours pursued by Bahá'í scholars, accommodating their interests and skills as well as the needs of the Faith. The course of world events, the development of new trends of thought and the extension of the teaching work all tend to highlight attractive and beneficial areas to which Bahá'í scholars might well direct their attention. Likewise, the expansion of the activities of the Bahá'í International Community in its relationship with United Nations agencies and other international bodies creates attractive opportunities for scholars to make a direct and highly valued contribution to the enhancement of the prestige of the Faith and to its proclamation within an influential and receptive stratum of society. As the Bahá'í community continues to emerge inexorably from obscurity, it will be confronted by enemies, from both within and without, whose aim will be to malign and misrepresent its principles, so that its admirers might be disillusioned and the faith of its adherents might be shaken; Bahá'í scholars have a vital role to play in the defence of the Faith through their contribution to anticipatory measures and their response to defamatory accusations levelled against the Faith."
Thus, there should be room within the scope of Bahá'í scholarship to accommodate not only those who are interested in theological issues and in the historical origins of the Faith, but also those who are interested in relating the Bahá'í Teachings to their field of academic or professional interest, as well as those believers who may lack formal academic qualifications but who have, through their perceptive study of the Teachings, acquired insights which are of interest to others.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1992 Dec 10, Issues Related to Study Compilation)
1. Learn more from a wider variety of people about using Baha'u'llah's writings, and about encouraging and supporting people.
2. Offer encouragement, support and learning opportunities to a wider variety of people.
3. Encourage and support other people doing the same.
1. Spend time with people, doing things that interest them.
2. Study and practice ways of using Baha'u'llah's writings.
1. Tablet of the true seeker
2. Writings of the House of Justice about the study of the Baha'i Faith
Some people I might try to spend more time with:
1. Some people I've associated with the Dialogue/Talisman chronicles.
2. People whose articles are published in Baha'i Studies journals.
3. Authors of Baha'i blogs.