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Abstract:
Overview of worldwide Baha'i scholarship projects, publications, and events - 1997.
Notes:
Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia, prepared for presentation at the Scholarship Institute, Yerrinbool, 10-13 April, 1998.

See also Report 1998 and Report 1999.


Yerrinbool Report on Scholarship:
1997

by Graham Hassall

1998-04-10


Introduction

Study of the Bahá'í Faith is a relatively new field and certainly one that is exciting. The broad vision that the Bahá'í Writings brings to the notion of learning means that 'scholarship', as traditionally understood, has been given new life. No longer the province of a select group, the activity of 'learning', together with that of applying such learning as far as possible to one's circumstances, have been raised from mere possibility to distinct responsibility. Bahá'u'lláh states that the acquisition of learning is 'incumbent upon all'.

A survey of world affairs will surely convince anyone concerned with the human condition that the application of learning to the common good is sorely needed. Surely, Bahá'í Scholars will make their contribution. But effective scholarship is not a simple matter, for it depends on the development of numerous skills and attributes on the part of both the individual scholar and the community of which she is a part. This Scholarship Institute is a response to this realisation. It creates a time and space for discussion of our evolving understanding of the practices of scholarship, and the relations between these practices and the communities and institutions which form their context (ie, local, regional, and global).

This 'Report on Scholarship' to the Institute is an experiment in the use of new communicative technologies. It shows the potential for regular sharing of information among scholars on a systematic basis and hints also at the potential for greater collaboration, stimulation, and encouragement, among and between this emerging global community of scholars.


Scholarly works on the Bahá'í Faith - Asia-Pacific

Prominent historian of religion in Australia, Hilary Carey, wrote in the introduction to her recently published book Believing in Australia:

'Buddhism and Hinduism each have a single volume providing an account of their history in Australia, and there are still no historical accounts of Islam, or the Western sectarian arms of the world religions such as Bahá'í, yoga or Krishna Consciousness...'

It is evident, in light of such comments, that scholars are looking for scholarly assessments of the Bahá'í Faith related to their disciplines. The fact is, however, that while most scholars of religion in Australia are aware of the Bahá'í Faith, they are not conversant with scholarship on Bahá'í Communities in the Asia-Pacific region. Surveys of religion in Australia, Asia, and the Pacific, make reference to Bahá'í Communities, but seldom do so in detail. A number of theses on Bahá'í themes have been presented at Australian Universities, but these have not appeared in book form for a wider audience. There are few scholars who have published their work in non-Bahá'í publishers, following the example of J. Fozdar, The God of Buddha (1973). A number of presentations have been made at conferences of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion, but again these have not necessarily been published.

The Australian Association for Bahá'í Studies has published conference proceedings and other titles since its establishment in 1984, some of which have reached a wider audience. There have been, in addition, numerous smaller references in scholarly, sectarian and popular literature, as well as considerable coverage in the mass media.

Prominent Bahá'ís are featured in a number of articles. Shirin Fozdar’s activities in Singapore, for instance, are examined in Chew, P. G. L. (1994). "The Singapore Council of Women and the Women's Movement." Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 25(1): 112-140. The life and photography of Effie Baker is referred to in Annear, J. and M. Gates (1981). Australian Women Photographers: 1890-1950. Australian Tour 1981-1982, and in a 1993 entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol 13: 1940-1980: A-De. Aspects of Bahá'í history and biography are treated in some Pacific Islands’ literature.

Of course, considerable scholarship on the Bahá'í Faith in the Asia-Pacific region has been generated and disseminated within the Bahá'í community through the Association for Bahá'í Studies. Conference proceedings have been produced in some form since 1982, and a range of Monographs has also been published. The cumulative effect of this literature has been to inform some scholars of religion of the existence of regional Bahá'í Communities. A few have made presentations at Bahá'í Studies Conferences, and some have conducted their own inquiry into the Bahá'í Teachings. In view of the progress made across almost two decades, the Australian Association for Bahá'í Studies has decided to establish its own journal, to be called Australian Bahá'í Studies. It looks forward in the coming years to the emergence of a vital scholarly community in Australia, as part of an equally vital community at regional and global levels.

 

Associations for Bahá'í Studies


The 1997 report of the Association for Bahá'í Studies - North America, noted the existence of twenty-six international affiliate Associations for Bahá'í Studies worldwide: Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany (German-speaking Europe), Ghana, Hawaii, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya (East, South, and Central Africa), Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria (West Africa), Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland (French-speaking Europe), Trinidad and Tobago, the U.K (English-speaking Europe), and Venezuela. A number of these Associations responded to the invitation to share news of current developments. News of other developments in the affiliate Associations is found in the Annual Report of ABS North America.

 

Australia

Annual Report 1997-98

Members:

Mr Colin Dibdin; Ms Susie Haake (from October 1997); Dr Graham Hassall; Ms Sandra Langshaw; Dr Natalie Mobini-Kesheh; Mr Babak Mohajerin; Dr Golshah Naghdy

Highlights and Achievements:

1. The ABS Board examined its method of functioning, and established portfolios related to processes rather than events (Secretariat: Colin Dibdin, Natalie Mobini; Finance: Sandra Langshaw; Scholarship support: Graham Hassall, Babak Mohajerin; Coordination: Sandra Langshaw, Susie Haake; Communication: Babak Mohajerin; Tertiary liaison: Colin Dibdin, Susie Haake; Publications: Graham Hassall, Natalie Mobini).

2. The ABS Secretariat has been established at premises at ‘The Spot’, in Sydney.

3. The Association’s 16th Annual Conference, ‘Global Governance: A Promise for Collective Security and Human Prosperity, was held at the University of Western Australia, 10-13 July 1997. More than 35 papers were presented by Bahá'ís and other prominent Australians, including Dr Keith Suter (president, Australia Association for the Club of Rome); Prof. Stanley Johnston (University of Melbourne); Mr Chris Sidoti (Human Rights Commissioner); and Ms Kaye Murray (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom). The conference also featured sessions by the Persian Studies interest group. Over 300 Baha’is attended some sessions of the conference.

4. A conference with the theme ‘Shoghi Effendi: His Legacy in the Antipodes’ was held in Mudgee, NSW, from 8-9 November 1997. There were more than ten papers presented, plus reminiscences from Knights of Baha’u’llah Mrs Yeganegi and Mr Stanley Bolton, and from Mrs Featherstone and Mrs Vahdat. About 150 Baha’is travelled to Mudgee to attend the conference, which was opened by the Mayor of Mudgee.

5. A Scholarship Institute , ‘ The Role of Scholarship in the Bahá'í Community: Reflections on Practice’ was held from 28-31 March 1997 at Gosford Bahá'í Centre. Six presentations were made.

6. The ABS Newsletter was produced in April, June, September and December 1997, and distributed to members and a large complimentary list comprising tertiary Bahá'í societies, national committees, Counsellors, regional National Assemblies, all ABS affiliate organisations, and Centres of Learning.

7. The book From Poverty to Prosperity was published, containing 15 papers from the 1996 Annual Conference (Adelaide).

8. It was decided to establish a journal, Australian Bahá'í Studies. In future members will receive two issues of the journal per year, along with the ABS newsletter, as their membership entitlement.

9. Increased collaboration with ABS Japan, ABS North America, ABS New Zealand and ABS Singapore.

10. Increased collaboration with national committees, working with the NYC and the NTC to refine a policy document for tertiary Bahá'í societies.

11. Direct communication with the Bahá'í Societies at James Cook University, Canberra University, University of Sydney, University of Western Australia, University of Melbourne, and University of Tasmania.

12. Regional ABS activities took place in Victoria — where a conference was held jointly with University of Melbourne Bahá'í Society (11 October) on ‘The Bahá'í Community as a Learning Organisation’ — and New South Wales.

13. ABS established its own email address, and established the e-mail discussion group ‘Bahai-Dialogue’. Considerable work also took place on the ABS home page.

14. The Board assisted a number of scholars with inquiries and manuscript development (six requests).

15. ABS facilitated the participation of Baha’is at scholarly conferences (eg. Chris Jones presented a paper at a conference on Religion and the Environment).

16. A second volume of papers on the Kitab-i-Aqdas, including a new paper by the Hand of the Cause Dr Varqa and four papers presented at the conference on the Kitab-i-Aqdas held in Sydney in 1993, was prepared for publication.

17. Preparation for publication of Mr Furutan and Mr Faizi at Yerrinbool (CD of the talks given at the 1953 Summer School with an annotated transcript).

Concerns and Issues:

1. ABS still requires more secretarial support if it is to fulfil its mandate. This additional support could come through employment of a part time officer, or through acquisition of a ‘Youth Year of Service’ volunteer. A YYS host application has been lodged with the Youth Desk, and advertisements for volunteers placed in the newsletter of the Sydney RTC.

2. ABS lacks the resources to provide adequate co-ordination for tertiary Bahá'í societies. This task is vital to fulfilling the national Four Year Plan goal of further developing university teaching

Hopes and Opportunities:

1. ABS is holding its 1998 annual conference on 11-12 July at the University of Auckland, in collaboration with ABS New Zealand.

2. ABS is holding a scholarship workshop at Yerrinbool at Easter 1998. It is hoped that this will become an annual event.

3. ABS NSW planned a conference on ‘Successful Morality’ for March 1998. ABS looks forward to the development of more scholarship initiatives at regional level.

4. ABS is convening a conference in Sydney in late September or early October 1998 to mark the 150th anniversary of the events at Shaykh Tabarsi. This will be a Persian-language conference with simultaneous translation into English.

5. ABS is convening a conference on Human Rights, in collaboration with the Office of External Affairs, to be held in Canberra in late 1998 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

6. ABS is working with ABS Japan to co-convene a joint conference in Guam in 1999 as a contribution toward fostering relations along the ‘Spiritual Axis’.

7. The Association has the opportunity to sponsor a conference on ‘Asia-Pacific Bahá'í Communities’ collaboratively with the Department of Studies in Religion at the University of Sydney. An application to the Haj Mehdi Arjmand Memorial Trust for funding was unsuccessful, but it is hoped that some similar form of funding will be established within the Asia-Pacific or Australasian region in the medium-term future.

8. ABS hopes to facilitate regular participation by Bahá'í scholars at the annual conference of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion. A scholarship has been established to assist possible speakers with the costs of attendance. The 1998 conference, ‘Managing Religious Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities’, is being held 2-5 July at the University of Melbourne.

9. Prominent scholar Dr Bahiyyih Nakhjavani has accepted the Association’s invitation to visit Australia in 1999.

10. In the longer term, ABS seeks to increase the number of active interest groups. This development requires the active interest and collaboration of ABS members.

11. ABS intends to continue developing its use of the Internet, and requires collaboration with specialists in this field.

12. The new ABS journal will be an important tool to achieve the Four Year Plan goal of further developing university teaching.

 

English-Speaking Europe

Annual report, Ridvan 155 BE .

Membership

Membership remains static at around 350. New members join the ABS(ESE) from disparate sources including the annual conference, special interest groups, and through articles in the Bahá'í Journal and elsewhere.

Publications

The Bahá'í Studies Review (BSR) Volume 6 was published in March 1997, and had been reasonably well received. Contributions remain largely commissioned. It was the first time that material was submitted to the Academic Reviewing Panel. The BSR has been extensively cited in the new Resource Guide for the scholarly study of the Bahá'í Faith, just published in the US. Volume 7 of the BSR is currently in the final stages of preparation. We have had continuing difficulty establishing a regular editor for the Associate, our quarterly newsletter, with the result that it has not appeared as regularly as we would have liked. A new initiative has been the creation of an ABS-ESE web page:

(www.breacais.demon.co.uk/BSR/BSR.htm)

which contains an index and selected articles from the BSR, and the full text of The Bahá'í Student Handbook. It has had over 300 hits.

Meetings

Special Interest Groups (SIGs): a new science group has been started and has held its inaugural meeting. Religious Studies and International Politics and Law (BIPOLIG) continue to hold seminars twice a year, and attract a core group of between 20-40 participants each. The Religious Studies SIG has held study skills seminars either side of its last two meetings - one on studying the Bahá'í writings, the other on academic Bahá'í studies. The Education and Gender Studies SIGs are dormant but the committee is continuing in its efforts to find coordinators. The impression of the committee is that the SIGs are where real Bahá'í studies is done. Their small-scale focused subject matter and regularity lend themselves to deeper expressions of scholarship than other events. It is also an opportunity to encourage new scholars; BIPOLIG, for example, specifically invites students to speak. Our annual conference attracted 120 participants and was noteworthy for the diversity of people presenting as well as the subject matter. All those who submitted abstracts were invited to speak. We have found that subject matter is more important than keynote speakers in attracting people to this event.

The National Conference provided a welcome opportunity for the wider community to sample ABS-style sessions. Around 220 people attended the five seminars that the ABS hosted, and these seminars generated much discussion.

Bahá'í Societies

An excellent conference was held at Nottingham University, attracting an attendance of around 150 persons. Most of the papers presented were by students. The 200 copies of The Bahá'í Student Handbook have already been distributed by the Bahá'í Societies Task Force and the European Bahá'í Youth Council, and we have made another print run. It has been well received in Europe and apparently a translation into Italian is under way.

Our impression is that university Bahá'í activities remain a significant under-achievement of the UK community. There is much scope for a coordinated and systematic teaching campaign at universities, where there are many receptive students. It is also an opportunity to proclaim the Faith to many of the future leaders of the nations of the world.

Committee development

The committee has derived considerable benefit from a 'Vision Day' hosted by Auxiliary Board Member Shahriar Razavi, in which we took a close look at our aims and objectives and their practical application. This has been a rewarding experience and an example of a fruitful interaction between the two arms of the Faith, enabling committee members to identify common purposes and policies. Together with Shahriar Razavi the committee is developing a resource pack of materials on Bahá'í studies intended for use in the training of Assistants to the Auxiliary Board.

Future challenges

Three areas will require the attention of the committee in the next few months: (i) Further attempts to introduce the Faith to academics and universities in the UK and Ireland. As a first step we will donate 20 copies of the BSR to selected institutions and individuals, and convene a one day consultation on this subject; (ii) Becoming involved in the training institute process; (iii) Improving the integration between Bahá'í studies and the wider Bahá'í community, in particular through greater involvement in summer schools, and a continuing presence at national conference.

ABS(ESE) Executive Committee: Sahba Akhavan, Seena Fazel (Chairman), Anton Floyd, Naz Ghanea-Hercock, Robert Ghanea-Hercock (Treasurer), Geeta Kingdon, Roger Kingdon (Secretary), Danesh Sarooshi (Vice-Chairman), Svenja Tams. NSA liaison members: Wendi Momen (UK), Seosamh Watson (Republic of Ireland).

 

India

Thank you for your email with a request to send the Annual Report of ABS, India, highlighting its scholarly activities. The focus of ABS, India in the last year was primarily on conducting Moral Education Workshops for primary/elementary school-teachers. We conducted some eight such workshops throughout the country. Unfortunately, the Annual Report of the activities will not be ready until Ridvan. When the Report is ready, I will email you a copy.

Regards,

Chetan Parikh

Member, Executive Committee, ABS-India.

chetan@ee.iitb.ernet.in

Japan

Annual Report, 1997-98

I Members of the Executive committee (appointed 10/30/97): Kathleen Babb, Sandra Fotos, Jiyan Ghadimi, Hiroaki Okada, Jerry Strain, Akiko Hayashi, Stephen Friberg, Mary Noguchi, Janet Sono, Hiroshi Tsunoi

II Officers and committees

A. Chair: H. Tsunoi

B. Secretary: S. Fotos

C. Treasurer: A. Hayashi

D. Publications Committee (includes Newsletter since there is no Proceedings in 1998): H. Tsunoi, S. Friberg, S. Fotos, A. Hayashi

E. Special Interest Group (SIG) and University Club Committee: J. Strain, H. Okada, M. Noguchi, S. Friberg (new committee not appointed)

III Reports

A. Membership: 56 (as of Dec. 21, 1997)

B. Publications

1. Proceedings of the 4th and 5th Annual Conference published Nov. 30, 1997

2. Newsletters: three issues: March, July and November, 1997

C. Treasurer's report: balance on hand ¥382,236

IV Activities in 1997

A. Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

  1. five SIGs: English, Arts, Religious Studies, Translation, Education

2. report from Religious Studies SIG

a. based in Tokyo with core members Friberg & Fotos

b. three meetings at Tokyo Bahá'í Center in 1997: with Dr. Lucien Randazzese (June 22), Dr. Golshah Naghdy (October 6), and Dr. Stephen Johnson (December 7)

3. formation of moral education SIG and sponsorship of Virtues Project training sessions in Machida-Atsugi area

B. Spiritual Axis activities

1. trip to Australia by S. Fotos, with talks in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast; consultation with ABS-Australia about publishing a joint journal and holding joint conferences, February 17-24, 1997

2. visit to Japan by Dr. Golshah Nagdy of ABS Australia; talks in Tokyo, Fukuoka and Kumamoto, October 4-9, 1997

3. meeting of ABS members with Counsellor Bruce Saunders of Australia; ABS-J apan encouraged to help Korea found ABS, Tokyo, Oct 19, 1009

4. two joint ABS-Japan and ABS-Australia Spiritual Axis panels at ABS North American annual conference in Washington DC, Nov. 14 & 15, 1997

C. Sixth Annual Conference of ABS-Japan, Tokyo Bahá'í Center, held December 19-21, 1997

1. Theme: The Institute Process, Community Development and Capacity Building

2. Invited speaker: Ms. Naznene Rowhani of India

3. Site chair: S. Friberg; Site Committee: H.Tsunoi, S. Fotos.

4. 57 attendees

5. ABS conference website: http://www2.gol.com/users/sfotos/

D. One day conference on Community Development, co-sponsored with Tokyo Local Spiritual Assembly, held at Tokyo Bahá'í Center, Dec. 23, 1997. 20 attendees.

V Upcoming activities in 1998

A. ABS-sponsored visit to Japan by Robert Imagire: May 6-May 20, 1998.

1. Mr. Imagire was the first pioneer back to Japan after WWII; he came in 1947 at the request of the Guardian, gathered the Bahá'ís and revived the Faith in Japan. He is now a pioneer in the Cook Islands.

2. This project is to deepen our understanding of the significance of the Spiritual Axis.

B. Seventh Annual Conference of ABS-Japan, Oct. 30 - Nov. 1, 1998

1. Japanese Theme: "Kita wa Nihon kara, minami wa Australia made"; English theme: "From Japan to Australia: the Spiritual Axis"

2. Venue: Sapporo Guest House

3. Site committee

A. Co-Chairs: Keiko Sakamoto and Kathleen Riggins

B. Other members: Ruth Suzuki and Terry Riggins

 

North America

ANNUAL REPORT 1996–97

VISION STATEMENT

What actually needs to be achieved, beyond statements on the nature of Bahá'í scholarship, is the creation of a practice of Bahá'í scholarship from which a consultation can emerge, a practice rooted in the Writings rather than, on the one hand, the blind and narrow application of templates born of Western patterns of thought, or, on the other hand, the adoption of a practice so wide and all-encompassing that the ultimate and yet undiscovered nature of Bahá'í scholarship becomes submerged.

The role of the Association should be to facilitate such consultations which would see the birth of new methods not only of studying the Writings but also of applying them to the needs of society. If such a practice were to see the light, it could grow, develop, and evolve into a multifaceted practice where "theoreticians" and "practitioners" would engage in a true consultation, instead of debating the value of one approach against another. Moreover, the Association could be the place where academics and non-academics could find a common ground, where the pursuit of knowledge and the teaching of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh would not be seen as antithetical activities but, on the contrary, integrated ones. In short, the Association could be where Bahá'í scholarship, both in theory and in practice, could be discovered, a laboratory in which the whole Bahá'í community and beyond could share.

MISSION STATEMENT

To aid Bahá'í individuals, help Bahá'í communities, and assist Bahá'í institutions to accelerate their development of human resources, thereby magnifying the impact of their many initiatives to reach diverse strata of North American society.

FIVE AREAS OF CONCERN

1) Association for Bahá'í Studies per se: Becoming a leading cultivator, publisher, and disseminator of products of Bahá'í scholarship, especially those applying the principles of the Bahá'í Faith to the pressing needs of humanity.

2) Bahá'í Students and Faculty: Seed, nurture, and grow networked communities of interest (with improved access to knowledge) where new insights are developed through collaborative effort, and the natural bonds of mentoring are more easily and frequently established.

3) Bahá'í Communities: Foster the maturation of Bahá'í communities by assisting the institutions responsible for accelerating the process of Bahá'í community development, including the training institute process, and by arranging introductions and connections.

4) Educational Institutions: Create a platform for a discourse that engages leaders in education, influencing their thinking in the formulation of policies and the transformation of institutions.

5) Leaders and Decision Makers: Assist in the transformation of leaders and decision makers at various levels by introducing a distinctive model of moral development based on service to humanity which accelerates the translation of Bahá'í principles into new tools and practices of governance.

INCORPORATION

The Association for Bahá'í Studies was founded in 1975 and was legally incorporated as a non-profit organization in June 1986. Copies of the constitution and by-laws used in the Letters Patent for Incorporation are available from the Association on request. The most significant change reflected in the constitution is that Association membership is now open to all, rather than limited to registered Bahá'ís. As a registered charity, the Association can now directly issue tax receipts for contributions.

MEMBERSHIP

Membership of the Association has grown from 360 in 1979 to 1940 in 1997. There was an increase of 62 members from 1996 to 1997. A breakdown of the membership is attached as Appendix A.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The Association, whose home territory is North America, is administered by an Executive Committee appointed annually by the National Spiritual Assemblies of Alaska, Canada, and the United States. There is also a representative from the Bahá'í International Community at the United Nations. A membership list of the Committee for the current year is attached. Members wishing to contact any particular members of the committee may do so in the care of the Association. Matters pertaining to the Association in general should be addressed to the Secretary. The Executive Committee meets three times a year. Members wishing to introduce questions or items for the Committee’s consideration should do so in writing. Please address such items to the Secretary of the Executive Committee, Centre for Bahá'í Studies, 34 Copernicus Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1N 7K4.

 

GENERAL ACTIVITIES

The 20th Annual Conference of the Association took place at the Edmonton Convention Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, 26–9 September 1997. The theme was the last in the three-year Anarchy into Order series: "Anarchy into Order: Crafting Better Governance." The conference convenor was Douglas Raynor of Edmonton. There were more than 800 participants and more than 130 children and youth participated in the parallel conference on Moral Leadership. The Hasan Balyúzí Memorial Lecture was delivered by University of Western Ontario Professor Emeritus Ross Woodman, who spoke on "The Role of the Feminine in the Bahá'í Faith," a reexamination of both the role of women and the role of the feminine characteristics of God within the Bahá'í Faith. Other keynote speakers included Robert C. Henderson, the Secretary-General of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States; Abdu'l-Missagh Ghadirian, member of the Continental Board of Counsellors for North America; Joan Crockatt, managing editor of the Calgary Herald; and David Kilgour, M.P., Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. The schedule has been set for the next conferences of the Association for Bahá'í Studies. The 21st Annual Conference, "Fostering Human Rights: Developing Pathways to Peace," convened by Augusto Lopez-Claros, takes place in Washington, D.C., 14–6 November 1997. The 22nd Annual Conference, "The Covenant: Pivot of the Oneness of Humanity," will be held in Montréal, Québec, 24–7 September 1998, at the Hôtel du Parc. The co-convenors are Margot Léonard and Liesbeth Bos.

REGIONAL COMMITTEE ACTIVITIES

The Regional Committees of the Association operate in six regions of North America, including Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Western States, New England, California, Pacific Northwest (Canada), and Texas Regional Committees. Dr. Robert Stockman, member of the Executive committee and Research Director at the Bahá'í National Center in the United States, and Mrs. Sheila Banani, Chair of the Executive Committee, are the liaisons to the United States-based Regional Committees. The California Regional Committee held a conference at the Bosch Bahá'í School in Santa Cruz, California, 21–23 February 1997. The theme was "Profound Faith and Freedom of Thought: Developing Bahá'í Scholarship," and this far-reaching theme will be explored again 6–8 February 1998 at the same location. The California Regional Committee co-sponsored a symposium 27 September 1997 with the local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of San Francisco, called "Re-membering Religion: Integrating the Good, the Beautiful, and the True," which explored the work of Ken Wilber.

Several Regional Committees of the Association for Bahá'í Studies are being re-established. In regions where activities have been suspended, new committee members are being appointed with a mandate to encourage Bahá'í Studies in their communities. Some committees with new, eager faces on board are the Mid-West Regional Committee, the New England Regional Committee, and the California Regional Committee. The Regional Committees endeavor to organize a Bahá'í Studies event in their area at least once a year. For information on each region, please contact the Association in Ottawa.

SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP (SIGs) ACTIVITIES

Ten Special Interest Groups (Agriculture, Arts, Built Environment, Business and Economics, Consultation and Conflict Resolution, Education, Intercultural Issues, Marriage and Family, Study of Religion, and Women’s Studies) held annual meetings on 26 September 1996 in conjunction with the 20th Annual Conference of the Association in Edmonton, Alberta. Five Special Interest Groups (Arts, Agriculture, Marriage and Family, Religious Studies, and Education) will hold workshops during the three days of the 21st Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The Agriculture, Arts, and Built Environment SIGs all publish regular newsletters or magazines throughout the year. All members of the Association for Bahá'í Studies can join any or all of these SIGs at no extra charge. To join, simply contact the Ottawa head office of ABS, which will forward your name to the coordinators of the relevant SIGs.

FINANCIAL POSITION

The Association for Bahá'í Studies currently employs two full-time people (Christine Zerbinis and Danielle Christensen of Ottawa), one contract bookkeeper and membership coordinator (Parvin Rowhani of Ottawa), one part-time desktop publishing resource person (Roxanne Lalonde of Edmonton), and for the past sixteen years has had a volunteer librarian, Mrs. Betty Butterill of Nepean, Ontario, as well as several other on-going volunteers at the Centre for Bahá'í Studies in Ottawa. Sources of income include grants from both the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada, membership/subscription fees, conference fees, and literature/tape sales. A financial statement for the year ending 30 April 1997 is attached as Appendix D.

PUBLICATIONS

In the last year, the Association published The Journal of Bahá'í Studies, vol. 7, nos. 2, 3, and 4, and vol. 8, no. 1. The Association is a full member of Council of Editors of Learned Journals and the Canadian Magazine Publishers’ Association. This latter membership, with its distribution privileges, should serve to promote Bahá'í Studies. The Journal of Bahá'í Studies is indexed in Science of Religion Abstracts, Religion Index One, Institut de l’Information Scientifique et Technique, and Index to Book Reviews in Religion. The Association for Bahá'í Studies also printed the quarterly international newsletter, the Bulletin, issues 56, 57, 58, 59, and 60.

CURRENT PAID* MEMBERSHIP (as of August, 1997)

CATEGORY OF MEMBERSHIP TOTAL NUMBER OF MEMBERS

LIFE 278

INTERNATIONAL 106

CANADA 629

UNITED STATES 716

COMPLIMENTARY 65

JOURNAL OF BAHÁ’Í STUDIES SUBSCRIBERS 146

______

TOTAL 1940

  • N.B.: Members are considered current if they are no more than three months past their renewal date.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE LIST 1997–98

Techeste Ahderom (Bahá'í International Community Representative); New York, USA; Niloofar Ahmadzadeh, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Sheila Banani, Chair, Santa Monica, California, USA; Gwen Etter-Lewis, Vice-Chair, Portage, Michigan, USA; Pierre-Yves Mocquais, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; Anne Mackenzie Pearson, Dundas, Ontario, Canada; Haifa Sadighi, (Alaskan Representative), Juneau, Alaska, USA; Leonard D. Smith, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA; Robert Stockman, Recording Secretary, Wilmette, Illinois, USA; Will van den Hoonaard, Treasurer, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada; Christine Zerbinis, Secretary, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

 

INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATES

The Association for Bahá'í Studies–Australia launched an e-mail discussion group, called Bahá'í-Dialogue, dedicated to the business and aims of the ABS. Australia also had a busy year for conferences. An institute was held 28–31 March 1997 at the Gosford Bahá'í Centre on "The Role of Scholarship in the Bahá'í Community." The 16th Annual Conference of the ABS–Australia was held 10–3 July 1997 at the University of Western Australia in Perth, on the theme of "Global Governance." Finally, the ABS is hosting a conference 8–9 November 1997 in Mudgee, New South Wales, on "Shoghi Effendi: His Legacy in the Antipodes."

The Association for Bahá'í Studies in English-Speaking Europe launched a new special interest group on science called SciSig. The Irfán Colloquium on Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith was held 6–8 December 1996 at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. ABS-ESE reprinted volumes 1 and 2 of its journal, Bahá'í Studies Review, in one volume. As well, two conferences were held in Oxford: the first, 16–17 November 1996 on the theme "Millennium and Apocalypse: The Bahá'í Vision of the Future," and the second, 1–2 November 1997 on the theme "Spirituality and Civilization."

The ABS for East, Central, and South Africa held its 4th Bahá'í Studies Symposium 9–10 November 1996 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Association for Bahá'í Studies for Francophone Europe published proceedings of its 10th annual conference, held 4–5 November 1995 and entitled "Tolérance, Respect, Diversité." The 11th annual conference will be held in Strasbourg at the Palais de Congrès, 22–23 November 1997. It will be on the theme "L’homme et la femme: Egalité . . . Utopie . . . Enjeu pour la famille."

The ABS for German-Speaking Europe held a conference 11–13 October 1996 at Landegg Academy in Switzerland on "The Prosperity of Humankind." A conference on the theme "Art — Maidservant of Unity?" was held in Langenhain at the Bahá'í National Centre, 31 October–2 November 1997.

In India, the ABS held its 5th annual conference in New Delhi, right after the three days of celebration of the tenth anniversary of that city’s Bahá'í House of Worship. ABS–India also held workshops on teaching techniques and moral education.

ABS–Japan held its 5th annual meeting on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. The meeting, held 22–24 November 1996, was on the theme "Spiritual Education in Family and Society." The 6th annual meeting will take place 19–21 December 1997 at the Tokyo Bahá'í Centre, on the theme "The Institute Process, Community Development, and Capacity Building."

ABS–Singapore held its 2nd annual conference, attracting thirty participants who discussed "The Fundamental Unity of Religions." ABS–Singapore has also produced the first issue of its academic journal, Singapore Bahá'í Studies Review.

 

Other groups

 

Afnan Library

We have recently acquired new premises for the library and are in the process of structural alterations to the new building and of transferring the books to the new place. It will be some months before the whole set-up is in a fit state to receive visitors and at present the whole library is in boxes in storage.

Moojan Momen

 

Papua New Guinea

Thank you for your invitation to submit something - research in progress…We recently had a very successful "Equality of Men and Women" seminar here, organised by the Bahá'í Studies Committee. Close to 200 people attended, 30 of which were Bahá'ís, and probably another 40 who managed to take the whole morning off work to attend. Many came for a short time. We received a tremendous amount of press coverage and even had a sizeable article on the 6pm TV news, with one of the quotes from 'Abdu'l-Bahá read by Counsellor Ugaia in his address as a feature! The response from the general population was close to overwhelming. So many transcended their fear of a new religion in order to discuss this issue that is close to their hearts. It did not matter that the Bahá'ís had organised it, in fact some even began to promote the Faith in their own organisations. We have now a school that is very interested in conducting staff development on "Equality of Men and Women" so the teachers have a better and broader understanding of this issue so they can better teach the children. The Bahá'í paper was written simply, so that it was immediately accessible to more people, and can be easily used in the classroom situation. Perhaps this is an area that more Bahá'í Studies Associations/Committees around the world could focus on the pulling together of Bahá'<í Teachings on the social issues that currently assail the world, presenting it in an easily read format that is accessible to the majority of people, sprinkling it liberally with relevant quotes from the Bahá'í Writings. I feel here in PNG in particular it seems to be a winning formula. A quote I found recently helps me to confirm this position of keeping our presentations simple with an unrestrained reference to the Word of God: "The understanding of His words and the comprehension of the utterances of the Birds of Heaven are now in no wise dependent upon human learning. They depend solely upon purity of heart, chastity of soul, and freedom of spirit." (Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p.211) Perhaps the focus of the friends in such institutes are you are organising could be also directed towards assisting the Bahá'í community to winning the Four Year Plan goals. Producing material that supports and propels the work of the Four Year Plan, that immediately encourages the believers to rise up, this would be of tremendous service. These are only a few of my thoughts. I hope your weekend goes well and all are uplifted by a spirit of action to met the vital goals of the Four Year Plan.

Dorrie Hancock

dhancock@datec.com.pg

United States - Research Office

The Research Office was established by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States in May 1989. Initiated as a 30-hour per week effort, in 1990 its staff person became full time (40 hours a week). In January 1994 the staff was doubled to two. In January 1997, with the arrival of a full-time youth year of service volunteer to provide staff support for the Wilmette Institute, its staff expanded to three; in January 1998 the volunteer was replaced by a paid full-time staffer. In the current reporting year (March 22, 1997, through March 21, 1998) the office also obtained three months of volunteer staff support over the summer, one week of volunteer support by a vacationing student, one day a week of volunteer staff support for the Wilmette Institute, and one day a week of paid staff support for the Research Office's library.

The Research Office currently is responsible for encouraging research on the Bahá'í Faith; it supports research and scholarship through service of its staff on committees of World Order, the Bahá'í Encyclopedia Project, the Association for Bahá'í Studies, and the Journal of Bahá'í Studies; it coordinates scholarly programs on world religions at the Association for Bahá'í Studies annual conference and on the Bahá'í Faith at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting; it completes review of literature and special materials; it oversees the Wilmette Institute; and it completes most of the work of the Institute for Bahá'í Studies and some of the work of the Haj Mehdi Arjmand Memorial Fund.

SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES, B.E. 154

Composed at least 5600 outgoing written communications (54% increase over last year) and handled 8300 incoming written communications relevant to research, literature review, special materials review, the Institute for Bahá'í Studies, the Wilmette Institute, the Association for Bahá'í Studies, and the Haj Mehdi Arjmand Memorial Fund. Over three- quarters of the outgoing communications are by e-mail, underlining the importance of electronic communication to the office's functioning.

Completed 161 literature reviews (10% decrease over last year). Sixty percent of the items received a rating of "pass"; 29% received a rating of "pass with changes"; 9% received no rating; 2% received the rating of "reject." Completed reviews of 387 special materials (10% increase over last year). Seventy percent of the items received a rating of "pass"; 25% received a rating of "pass with changes"; 3% received no rating at all; 2% received a rating of "reject."

Edited and produced the Annual Report of the National Spiritual Assembly. Conducted a survey and wrote the United States' annual compilation of statistical information for the Universal House of Justice. Again revised and formally published 1000 copies of *A Resource Guide for the Bahá'í Faith* (formerly titled *A Curriculum Guide*), a 225-page book describing ways to create university courses on the Bahá'í Faith and providing an extensive annotated topical bibliography on the Faith. Responded to errors in five books and articles about the Bahá'í Faith by non-Bahá'ís. Drafted an article on the "Americas" for the Bahá'í encyclopedia project and an article on "Bahá'í Concepts of Social Concord and Discord" for a volume of papers on concepts of social concord and discord in the world's religions.

Participated in the advisory board of "The Pluralism Project," a project based at Harvard University that studies world religions in the United States, and served as Bahá'í representative to the Cooperative Congregational Studies Project, a project to survey tens of thousands of religious congregations in the United States during the government decennial census (January-April, 2000). Visited Nor University in Bolivia to discuss creation of Bahá'í- inspired curricula.

Communicated with dozens of Bahá'í and non-Bahá'í university students and faculty, assisted them with research, gave suggestions about scholarly matters, and helped network them with others having similar interests. In two cases, arranged for students to serve as volunteers in the Research Office. Assisted a non-Bahá'í scholar with an article on the Bahá'í Faith and a Bahá'í with an article on world religions for children. Provided Bahá'í statistical information to the revised *World Christian Encyclopedia.* The Research Office mailing list now has more than 400 names of Bahá'ís interested in scholarly matters.

Via the Institute for Bahá'í Studies, sponsored a Bahá'í exhibit and a panel of Bahá'í talks at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). The display was seen by 8000 scholars of religious studies from across North America. Because of the workload of the Wilmette Institute, little was done to foster the Institute for Bahá'í Studies this year.

Assisted the Haj Mehdi Arjmand Memorial Fund to sponsor two conferences on the study of the Bahá'í writings in Persian, one at Acuto Bahá'í School in Italy in June 1997 and one at Louhelen Bahá'í School in October 1997; and two in English on the Baha'I Faith and world religions, in Manchester, U.K. (July 1997) and Wilmette, IL (August 1997). Initiated planning for colloquia on the Bahá'í Faith and world religions to be held in London, U.K., in August, 1998, and at Louhelen in early November, 1998.

Created a series of six compilations on the writings of Bahá'u'lláh, the Bab, and `Abdu'l-Bahá for courses of the Wilmette Institute. Carried out the second year of the Spiritual Foundations for a Global Civilization program of the Wilmette Institute; began a series of Wilmette Institute minicourses on world religions at Bosch Bahá'í School; began the Wilmette Institute's first correspondence courses on the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh; and helped to plan a five-day minicourse on the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, 1853-63. Created the Wilmette Institute's first catalog and web site (www.usbnc.orgwilmette). Increased the publication of *The Lamp* (the Institute's newsletter) to six per year and created a publicity plan involving regular articles in *The American Bahá'í.* The Wilmette Institute ended the reporting year with 120 students and an income sufficient to support a staff salary.

Coordinated the "Religious Studies Seminar" at the Association for Bahá'í Studies annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Nur University

In the context of our Department of Education for Peace and Integration and our International Relations Degree Program, I am working in both areas and the progress is sometime quicker than what I can safely handle...! In human rights, we are promoting an educational project for youth and indigenous populations and I am now writing a didactical module for human rights education. This project is called "Leadership for Human Rights and World Citizenship" (leadership for moral leadership, of course!!!).

On another hand, doors are opening in an amazing way in relation to our project in conflict resolution. Our plan is to open a Center for the Prevention and Resolution of Conflicts, which would have two main working areas:

1) the academic area, with our International Relations Degree Program and its Major in Arbitration and Conflict Resolution. We are also planning to open a graduate program in conflict resolution.

2) the project area: we have identified three main areas of conflict we are going to work in: a) conflict within the individual and at the interpersonal level (with Peseschkian's perspective on Positive Conflict Resolution), b) conflict between organized groups, such as communities and institutions, c) conflict at the regional and international level. We are now working in developing a vision for conflict resolution for Bolivia and Latin America, inspired in the Bahá'í Writings. As you can see, it is a really big project. Therefore, we have decided to create an international team of consultants, uniting all the experts and institutions we are in contact with. For the moment, some of the institutions involved are the Bahá'í Chair for World Peace, and the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (George Mason University).

Carolina Sawicki

csawicki@nur.edu

NUR UNIVERSITY
Av. Cristo Redentor, No. 100
Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Casilla 3273
webmaster@tabarsi.nur.edu
info@tabarsi.nur.edu
http://www.nur.edu

Current projects


 

This section of the 'Report on Scholarship' features contributions from individuals involved in various research activities.

Ratnam Alagiah

I describe my PhD thesis as a history of our times written on an unfamiliar theme. It is a study that uses Foucault's archaeology and genealogy, as method in history, to explain three central themes. It shows how knowledge and power are interrelated, how human beings are the object of knowledge and later become the subject of knowledge, and how a human science such as accounting can be instrumental in social control.

The study examined the way in which the object known as income, the alpha and omega of accounting, is discoursed and constructed, making up accounting knowledge. Income is later regulated and practised through the power of the Department of Social Security, and it is the basis upon which Australians are marginalised, categorised and excluded. My thesis explored how 'the poor' have been excluded, confined and categorised through the regulation and practice of the object known to history as income, and forever silenced. It tells the story of how wealth and accounting are related, of how accounting creates income through discourse in order to determine wealth, through the creation of the poor. Accounting will never explain what income is, because it is not accounting that holds the key to an explanation or description of income. Instead, it is income itself that holds the key to the existence of accounting and it is only through the regulation and practice of income, by excluding the poor, that we come to understand what income is."

As to what I'd like to research in the future: depending on where I'm going to be, I would like to look at how poverty arises in that part of the world and the role of accounting and income in bringing about 'the poor'. My conviction is that poverty can be removed from the world.

Ratnam Alagiah

Ratnam.Alagiah@BusEco.monash.edu.au

 

Jane Baker Jones

I am currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Business, a research project as a prerequisite to undertaking a Doctorate by research as the NTU has no 'Honours' year.

I am examining the cultural values of both indigenous and non-indigenous students and comparing them to the cultural values inherent in the accounting methodology used in Australia. If it can be shown that the values held by Indigenous students relating to concepts such as wealth, ownership, knowledge etc are sufficiently divergent to non indigenous students, it will then be possible to examine the implications this has for teaching Accounting (in particular) and for the community (in general). I would love to be there at the Institute but instead will be undertaking research with a group of students at Gapuwiyak and Millingimbi! (way out bush in Arnhemland)

regards

Jane

Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Northern Territory University

Darwin NT AUSTRALIA 0909

jbakerjo@darwin.ntu.edu.au

 

William Barnes

My research and writing interests continue to center around three main topics: spiritual education as a socially transforming process; the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh as a new epistemology and the integrator of the academic curriculum; and the sociological development, both historically and at present, of the Bahá'í community at every level, but especially within the region of the Spiritual Axis. In the practical sphere where I can test these ideas, I remain principal of Daystar International School; a member of the Board of Directors of International Educational Initiatives, a resource company whose aim is to develop educational materials and guidelines for spiritual and global education; and a member of the Association of Bahá'í Studies. IEI will be putting out its fifth publication soon, and I am now writing papers for some upcoming conferences this summer and winter.

William Barnes

DaystarJpn@aol.com

 

Phyllis Chew

Right now, I am researching into the progress of the soul in the Chinese religion to see whether there are correlations with the Bahai Faith. Other on-going projects include collecting any materials which comment on the history of the Bahais in southeast Asia and on the "the pioneer as missionary"; methodology in the field; and differences between a pioneer and missionary.

Phyllis Chew

CHEWGLP@am.nie.ac.sg

 

William P. Collins

I have completed a 4-year writing project to turn my Master's thesis into a full-length book. The 410-pages manuscript, presently undergoing Bahá'í peer review, is tentatively titled: "The Final Consummation: The Millerites and Biblical Time Prophecy in the American Bahá'í Community." A lengthy article extracted from the manuscript is being considered for two upcoming issues of "World Order." The article is entitled: "Millennialism and Millerites: The Bahá'í Adaptation of Historicism to the Interpretation of Biblical Time Prophecy." For the past three years, has been coordinating a loose-knot network of Bahá'í librarians, archivists, and information professionals. The newsletter, "Scriptum", is available on the web at http://www.bcca.org/~glittle/scriptum. Contributions to the newsletter are welcome.

Bill Collins

6819 Stoneybrooke Lane

Alexandria, VA 22306

USA

 

Jef Clark

Proposal for a Needs Assessment: Bahá'í Teachers of Multifaith or Bahá'í Classes in Primary Schools

There is a significant unmet demand for Bahá'í teachers of multifaith classes in several regions and local government areas in Australia. This shortage is exacerbated by the rapid turnover of volunteers. Current trends suggest that the demand for multifaith and/or Bahá'í classes in schools will increase over time as more schools express an interest in offering such classes as an alternative to traditional Christian religious education. The proposed study will attempt to clarify training and resource needs of existing and prospective volunteers. The outcome will be a report which should assist in the retention and expansion of the pool of volunteers, and contribute to their knowledge and skill base.

Method

The study will employ a needs assessment approach (see Queeney, S. 1995. Assessing Needs in Continuing Education: An Essential Tool for Quality Improvement. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers). Needs assessment is a systematic approach to the determination of the actual needs of a group, as opposed to (e.g.) wants and demands. In a needs assessment, needs are also elaborated while taking due account of resource constraints (the "art of the possible", or "real", rather than "ideal"). The researcher has wide experience in conducting needs assessments in formal and non-formal educational contexts in Australia and overseas.

The study will involve three main data-gathering phases, and the outcome will be a report with recommendations for training and resource provision.

Phase 1 (April-May 1998): Group discussions with an intact group of volunteer teachers of multifaith classes in the Brisbane area. These discussions will be non-directive and will serve to map out possibilities for further investigation and analysis. No assumption will be made that the issues which emerge from this group will be fully representative of multifaith teachers Australia-wide.

Phase 2 (June-July 1998): Interviews with multifaith teachers, students in multifaith classes, and parents of students attending classes in the S.E Qld region. Initial interviews will be non-directive, and follow-up interviews will investigate emerging issues. Although no assumption will be made that the issues which emerge from interviewees will be fully representative of multifaith teachers Australia-wide, the results will be sufficiently representative to serve as a foundation for a survey questionnaire.

Phase 3 (August-September 1998): Survey questionnaire. This will be mailed to registered teachers of Multifaith and/or Bahá'í classes in schools Australia-wide. The content and structure of the survey will be determined through qualitative analysis of the data from phases 1 and 2. The assistance of the National Bahá'í Education Committee for Children will be sought (mailing list, postage) for this phase

Jef Clark

School of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning,

Faculty of Education, Griffith University Nathan Q 4111

J.E.Clark@edn.gu.edu.au

 

Colin Dibdin

I am involved with a Bahá'í-Christian Dialogue Interest Group (under the ABS umbrella). The group has about 40 members and has functioned enthusiastically but intermittently for two years, mainly by e-mail discussions. Our mission statement says "The Bahá'í/Christian Dialogue interest group exists to promote cordial and productive dialogue between Christians and Bahá'ís. The group will: 1) try to discover and practice the skills and attitudes of successful dialogue, 2) engage in actual dialogue as well as reflecting on the process, and 3) encourage group members to produce scholarly work which will contribute to better understanding between Bahá'ís and Christians." The group has a web site at

www.ozemail.com.au/~cdibdin/index.htm. Discussions are held on the 'Bahai-dialogue' e-mail list, and there is an occasional newsletter.

My personal interests in this subject are 1) finding a Bahá'í view of the Bible which is consistent with both religious and scientific perspectives, and 2) learning the 'skills' of dialogue which enable all participants to learn and grow, rather than to just teach. Bahá'í books and journals are providing a steady stream of valuable contributions to this exciting field, which can only grow in relevance as the Faith expands.

warmest regards,

Colin

Bronywn Elsmore

For a Bahá'í contribution to an Oxford (UK)-based collection on spiritual experience in different religions, I am seeking stories which illustrate this aspect of the Faith. If you would like to share specific instances of 'spiritual experiences' you have had, or would like to make comment/share insights into the more general area of spiritual experience (Bahá'í beliefs about, etc), I would welcome your input.

Your name will not be published in relation to any specific experiences. Please write to:

Dr Bronwyn Elsmore

Religious Studies

Massey University

Palmerston North

New Zealand

E-mail: B.M.Elsmore@massey.ac.nz

 

Cheshmak Farhoumand

Areas of research have included -MSc thesis: The psychological, cultural and spiritual dimensions of Reconciliation. Other research areas: the role of myth, memory and identity in ethnonationalism; the foundations for peaceful vs. violent cultures; the conflict in Cyprus; the spiritual dimension of conflict resolution; the role of consultation and prayer in conflict resolution; Bahá'í perspective on peace and world order. New area of research: human rights (universalism vs cultural relativism), global governance, and the role of non-state actors in the new world order; the United Nations; religion and conflict; religion and conflict resolution. I am in the process of writing a paper on Western vs. Islamic notions on Human Rights and the Plight of the Bahá'ís in Iran.

Cheshmak A. Farhoumand

B.A. Peace and Conflict Studies

M.Sc. Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Ph.d candidate, International Relations

Department of Political Science

York University

cheshmak@yorku.ca

Stephen Friberg

I am delighted to have a chance to describe what we are calling a "new paradigm" for scholarship: we are getting more and more excited about it. Of course, the source of this "new paradigm" is the UHJ's statements about scholarship, and more specifically, their guidance to ABS-Japan. A lot of the current excitement in Japan is tied to the powerful effect of the ABS-Japan conference in December 1997. Sandra Fotos, one of our executive committee members, just got back from Haifa from a three day visit, having met with both Peter Khan and the ITC. Basically, they were delighted with us, in large part because of the very strong Japanese component to our conference. They are strongly, strongly encouraging us: I think we are doing something that is very much in keeping with their vision of what Bahá'í studies can be. And, here in Japan, we are having confirmation after confirmation as we are starting to see the great potential of a Bahá'í Studies "liberated" from the confines of other models.

Basically, I think what happened is that our conference finally broke away from the old model and started firmly in a new direction. By our avoiding highly academic approaches, ordinary Japanese believers were able to understand very much of what was being said, and felt very much it was for them. And by featuring talks on Japanese aesthetics and spiritualization, we strongly "validated" and "endorsed" the ways of our Japanese friends. I don't think that I can over-emphasize how important I think this to be. [Of course, a warm and relaxed atmosphere helped very much, as did the Japanese folk songs and the powerful, evocative performance of koto music.]

And the response has been enthusiasm, increased confidence, increased activity, spontaneous endorsement of ABS activities, and much more important in this country where basically the administration is only slowly developing: a method and means that allows people to get together to understand and apply the Bahá'í teachings for the very practical activities of community development and teaching.

Let me comment on what the role of the traditional academics, scholars, and professionals seems to be in our "new paradigm." It is very, very important, a far cry from the usual things that causes worries about anti-intellectualism and academics. As I see it, the professionals and scholars play the extremely important role of validating, supporting, backing up with specific expertise, providing a broad vision, and being a "treasure" of knowledge that can be drawn on. In playing these diverse roles, which can be done in such a natural and easy way that the whole intellectual/anti-intellectual thing can be forgotten, a strong sense of unity develops - a lack of feeling separated and apart. It is only natural that this should happen when knowledge is put to fruitful use.

Obviously, I am enthused. Saturday, we spent the afternoon with some of the friends talking about how to translate Mohan Narula's good but complicated community development strategies into simple plans, and the group, instead of seeing it merely as an intellectual exercise [I was trying to prepare a well-stated suggestion to submit to the NSA at the national convention], decided they would set a goal (energize the Tokyo LSA, which has been in the doldrums lately), make plans, and start a new Special Interest Group on Community Development. Not only that, but we clearly saw the way to take it national. Simply amazing!

In short, we are being filled with a vision of ABS and Bahá'í Studies as a practical, dynamic, community-oriented organization that can bring knowledge and expertise together with people in a focused, consultative manner that provide a powerful way to address problems and provide ways to find solutions, while at the same time fostering and enhancing an appreciation of the skills and knowledge capabilities needed by the community. And without a doubt, it demands and fosters "local" knowledge skills! Very powerful indeed, and perhaps Bahá'í Studies can even be a crucial component in the growth of the Bahá'í community, one that can play an important role in breaking the logjam that seems to have arisen at the current stage of development of the administrative order in various places around the world.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Friberg

friberg@will.brl.ntt.co.jp

 

GK Ganesan

Bahá’i Consultation as a model of Alternate Dispute Resolution

Very little is known of the Bahá’i Faith as a religion, let alone one of its principal institutions, Bahá’i Consultation, which acts in the Bahá’i Faith as a kind of ADR. But Consultation is much more than a mechanism of ADR. The purpose of this Dissertation is to explain what Bahá’i Consultation is; to propose Bahá’i Consultation as a model of ADR; and to study the proposed Model from different angles. It will have 13 Chapters, following a natural progression of ideas from the history of the Bahá’i Faith to the nuts and bolts of Bahá’i Consultation and its role in the modern secular world.

Chapter 1 (Introduction - Consultation as a model of alternate dispute resolution) will discuss briefly the characteristics of the various existing methods of ADR. It would then introduce the Bahá’i Consultation; and set out its basic characteristics, and briefly state the intrinsic differences Consultation has existing methods. In essence it is a process for grappling with issues, out of which emerge solutions.

Chapter 2 (Brief introduction of Bahá'u'lláh and the Bahá’i Faith) will introduce the Bahá’i Faith and its fundamental verities. There will be a brief historical tour of the Faith. Chapter 2 will also introduce the basic building blocks in reference material; i.e. the ranks of different kinds of Bahá’i writings, the importance and weight attached to each; and in an apparent conflict between the one and the other, which ought to prevail. Central figures in the Faith and the Station of their persons and their writings will be examined.

The unique position of the writings of Shoghi Effendi the Guardian of the Faith will also be discussed. Next the function, role and the relative importance of the writing s of the Universal House of Justice will be set forth. This will be to assist the reader understand the relative importance of each of their views as compared to the other. Some discussions of the Bahá’i concept of justice will also be discussed, followed by Bahá’i jurisprudence and relevant juridical institutions as propounded by the Faith.

Chapter 3: (Station of Consultation in the Bahá’i Faith) will discuss the position Bahá’i Consultation occupies as an "institution" in the Bahá’i faith and its role. One of the purposes of this chapter would be to examine the religious basis of Bahá’i Consultation.

Chapter 4: (The Nature of Bahá’i consultation): Bahá’i consultation is both a means of jointly considering something, and a means of allowing an idea to grow; it is an organic process, used for organic beings, for organic purposes. This would be a continuation and expansion of Chapter 1; going deeper into the characteristics of Bahá’i consultation.

Chapter 5: (The pre-requisites of consultation: its nuts and bolts): will discuss the actual technicalities and the conditions under which Bahá’i Consultation will work.

Chapter 6: (Use of consultation as an institution in the institutions of the Bahá’i Faith) will discuss the role Consultation plays in Bahá’i institutions.

Chapter 7: (Comparative analysis of the basis of consultation and traditional methods of dispute resolution mechanisms and ADR mechanisms) will be a comparative Analysis of the basis of Bahá’i consultation and traditional methods of dispute resolutions and other ADR mechanisms will be examined.

Chapter 8. (A Comparative analysis of the Islamic "Muzawarah/Meshuwarah" and consultation) will be a study of Consultation and the Islamic method of "discussion".

Chapter 9: (Use of the "Consultation Model" in various conflict situations:) will examine the use of Consultation in various conflict situations, including Family, Corporate, Industrial, Public-related conflicts and in Criminal Law.

Chapter 10: (Present institutions that utilise the Consultation Model) will discuss present institutions, both Bahá’i and non-Bahá’i that utilise the Consultation Model. There will be a discussion of the American judges, Nelson’s institution which have proposed a system of mediation mechanism; as well as Consultation-like systems used by other religions, particularly Islam. This Chapter would also examine any existing system of conflict resolution in other religions.

Chapter 11: (Recorded examples of the use of the Consultation Model in dispute resolution) will discuss various recorded examples when this system has been used; with an analysis of the structure used and a study of the results achieved.

Chapter 12 (Non- usable areas) will discuss certain areas where the idea of consultation will not work.

Chapter 13 (The future role of Consultation as an ADR method) will discuss the future role of Consultation as a dispute resolution mechanism.

GK Ganesan

gkay@tm.net.my

Miguel Gil

Here in Spain, the Bahá'í Studies Association went through a period of latency for several years, despite some very promising beginnings. Support for Bahá'í Studies has been quite considerable in terms of affiliation. More than two hundred people pay regularly a yearly sum of about 30 Australian dollars in order to finance the main activities of the Association. Four years ago the NSA of Spain made a move to give new impetus to the Association, and as a result activities have sprung in a healthy manner. For the past four consecutive years both the Bulletin and the periodical "Revista de Apuntes Bahá'ís" have been coming out without considerable delays, and contributions on the part of Spanish authors have become a regular if not dominant feature. Efforts to consolidate various interest groups have met with a mediocre response, but this does not seem to deter the Executive Board from its resolve to persevere.

Actually, the current Executive Board has managed to implement a serious 2 year program aimed at training young Bahá'í researchers. This program consists of materials covering a wide range of topics, with a somewhat philosophical bent, and a combination of follow up correspondence activities and tutorials for those living in the same region. The response has been very positive bearing in mind the difficulties involved. More than ten young Bahá'ís are taking up this program and are working towards its completion quite satisfactorily. Unfortunately, distances and the lack of tutors is becoming a hindrance to extend the benefits of this initiative to distant regions such as Andalucía. By the way, one of the reference books they are using is my work "Hacia un discurso bahá'í" (Working out Bahá'í Discourse).

Just three weeks ago the Association for Bahá'í Studies of Spain celebrated its tenth Anniversary with a two day series of talks focusing on various aspects of World Citizenship. Two relevant academic figures in the world of ethics accepted to give key addresses. One of them was a former independent Senator, Professor Victoria Camps, and a prestigious Senior Lecturer Norbert Bilbeny, both from Barcelona's Autonoma University. I had a talk on "World Citizenship as an Ethical Concept", which was further subdivided into three main sections: a historical outline; a series of considerations on the semantics surrounding words such as "citizenship", "society", "community", "globality" and the like; and thirdly, some conclusions from the ethical standpoint. To give you an idea I will summarise the first part of it.

My main contention is a truism, namely that the idea of "citizenship" is closely linked to the development of cities and civilization as a whole. In this process of integration we have come to see how a citizen is someone who is freed from elementary needs and therefore is able to influence and contribute positively to the common weal. At first, this capacity was the preserve of just a few. In Ancient Greece, women, children, slaves, foreigners and the infirm were simply beyond the pale. But throughout the past two millennia we have come to witness a process whereby all the excluded categories of people become part of the very definition of able humankind. After the French Revolution, the traditional division into states is thrown out and differences ascribed to inherent privileges abolished. The idea of the common "people" becomes all-inclusive, so much so that everyone is equalized, at least from that point of view. There are no longer vassals. All are part and parcel of a "society" or "fatherland" which acknowledges some basic political rights to all its members, regardless of their condition. All become united through the bond of a new social contract. Of course, this new era is not free from important flaws. Although citizens are allotted an equal share of rights, so to speak, differences tend to solidify along supposedly non-discriminatory lines. Citizens become different not because they are given privileges, but because differences are natural or simply because excellence is attributable to personal merit.

I tried to explain that in this process we have tended to develop two different approaches that, if carried to its extreme, are utterly incompatible and equally detrimental to humankind. One approach tends to view humankind as a mere aggregate of individuals. It is centered on the individual and looks with suspicion at society and the State. The other is basically society-centered, and tends to see the individual as a mere projection or expression of societal forces. In this approach the individual is given shape basically through institutional means. My own contention is that the idea of community, as envisaged in the Ridván message 153, establishes a third element where both levels encounter creatively and in a way in which neither of the two actors becomes exclusive. Furthermore, I contend that apart from the expansion of human rights, which now include rights of the second and third generation and provide a language which is of universal value, there is an element of voluntariness which must be added to the exercise of human rights and its natural counterpart: duties and responsibilities.

I hold the view that one of the greatest features of this century lies precisely in the formidable expansion of "human resources" and correspondingly in the strengthening of civil society, understood not so much as a counterbalancing power, but as the responsible use of the capacities developed by conscientious people who are able to see with their own eyes. In "Working out Bahá'í discourse" I proposed the following definition of civil society: "Civil society means citizenship consciously exerted and aimed at individual and collective empowerment". The idea is an enlargement of Kant's definition of Enlightenment as "freedom from culpable incapacity".

In general, much of my work has been undertaken under much pressure and has been largely made possible by taking advantage of odd moments taken from here and there. "Working Bahá'´i Discourse" and the small booklet "On poverty" were responses to petitions made by some Bahá'ís. My book on religious dialogue was practically concluded in Australia and hopefully will come out soon. During the last five years, through the piecemeal work I have mentioned, I have been able to write other works:

1) "Children of Utterance". This work looks at the importance of the written Word in our world and the difficulties we encounter to understand each other in the process. In the first chapter I describe some basic questions concerning orality versus literacy, and the expansion of consciousness which is associated to the spread of writing in our modern world. I also take some pains at describing the side effects of a literary culture (the excesses of civilization), basically the tendency to despise memory and anything with a smack of learning by rote. Later, I have discovered that there is a considerable number of works by authors such as Chadler, Olson, Goody, Bottero and Havelock very much in the same line. In the second and third chapters I deal with the importance of the word in the Bahá'í writings, the question of interpretation, the role of Bahá'í scholarship and the etiquette which should be applied to interaction between Bahá'í scholars. Other chapters offer a critical view of the abuse of images in our society, both in a literal and figurative sense. I illustrate my views with two commentaries, one devoted to an article by Vargas Llosa on TV, and another criticising the use of images ad metaphors as a rhetoric device to make palatable things which are false.

2) "The Wealth of Humankind". A series of essays on questions related to economics. I begin with a commentary on Jesus statement "you will always have poor amongst you". Here my purpose is to show how a statement is taken out of context and made into a sort of lasting sociological factual statement. To prove my point I go into some detail discussing the other key points surrounding Jesus discussion with Judas on account of the annointment with the expensive parfume. Judas seems to represent a sort of materialist spirituality. His intentions are good, but they are based on an economy of salvation which values means and logical reasoning above love and community links. In subsequent chapters I try to explore at some length the importance of charity as generous love. I criticise the somewhat irresponsible criticism which underlies much of the negative publicity carried out by model NGOs: we do not want your charity, we want your money, and the like. If you want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg, you only have but to abhor from charity. I illustrate this with some of the Enlightened paradoxes still active in our contemporary imagery: the invisible hand, the idea that self-interest may redound into social goodness as if by magic, the receding importance of charity versus utilitarian arguments, and so on. I also discuss the "cake" metaphor as a basic part of economic thinking. In another section I deal with some of the "undervalues" current in Market current thinking. For instance the idea that "risk" and "uncertainty" must take some sort of prominence in business ethics. I provide an in-depth analysis of a talk given by a very well-known Spanish banker and show the obvious contradictions and begging questions which are characteristic of this rhetoric. In a final chapter I attempt to provide some basic references concerning business ethics.

3) "Essays on the Translation of Bahá'í Writings".

4) "A guide of Academic Writing for Thinking Students". This book is divided into two sections. The first part deals with university studies in general. It shows the importance of language in creating an academic culture and discusses the role of scholars or intellectuals in modern society. This part aims at becoming a readable approach to academic work. I try to show the specifics of an academic environment, the difficulties involved in characterising "culture", and the complexities surrounding the use of words such as "objectivity", "science", "structure" and the like. In the second part I describe the elements of writing, stressing the importance of "essay writing" and "argumentation".

During this period I have also made some progress on my PhD thesis on "An Analysis of the Concept of Peace in the Bahá'í Religion", but I have been unable to find quality time and the much need peace of mind to complete it. God willing, this may happen in the not so distant future.

Right now I am devoting most of my time to prepare translations of some books in order to establish an independent Bahá'í publishing firm. I have already translated "Asking Questions, A Challenge to Fundamentalism", and currently I am working on the translation of Mírzá Haydar's Alí's Memories from the Delights of Hearts" and "The Psychology of Spirituality" by Hossain Danesh. I obviously entertain some doubts as to the financial feasibility of this venture, but if it proves successful I would love to branch off into more community-oriented works. I believe that there is a potentially huge area of works tapping into the Bahá'í writings aimed at empowering Bahá'í communities with practical tools for self-development. Conflict resolution and consultation are evidently some of them; but there is much that can be done in personal growth, community skills and the like. We'll see about it and what is in store for us.

I am always tempted by the idea of exploring the language of the Bahá'í Scriptures and identify its main themes in the broadest context offered by Persian and Arabic literature. In all probability I will have to settle for something less ambitious; but whether there is a will (...) I suppose this has become too much of a letter. I wish you all the best in your endeavours, and I would love to hear from you and the results of your Scholarship Institute.

Lots of love,

Miguel

mgilsant@arrakis.es

 

Kathy Gilbert

I have begun, spasmodically over the last two years, some research on how the fragrances of the Writings of the Faith effect the "harmony" and "wellbeing" of the body when one is afflicted with a chronic illness. I have Multiple Sclerosis, and have noticed that I am at my "best" state of health, when I feel in spiritual harmony. How when I am involved in a teaching project or other field of service, my state of health leaps by comparison to when I am not. By researching it I am hoping to be of assistance to myself and others who have chronic illnesses, so we can best utilize our lives in service to humanity.

Kathy Gilbert

kathyg@xtra.co.nz

 

Graham Hassall

I.

Bahá'í history and biography. Recently completed projects include publication of letters from Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'í Communities of Australasia (Messages to the Antipodes: BPA 1997), and "Pacific Bahá'í Communities: issues and prospects’, Bahá'í Studies Review (6, 1996). In 1998 I have hopes of completing a biography of Effie Baker. Ongoing projects include collection of materials for a biography of Clara and Hyde Dunn, and for an introductory history of the Bahá'í Faith in Australia; as well as collection, in collaboration with Babak Mohajerin, of Shoghi Effendi’s letters to North and Southeast Asia. Through teaching a course on Shoghi Effendi’s work Promised Day is Come as part of the Certificate in Bahá'í Studies program at Yerrinbool I have realised the need for much greater knowledge of the lives and times of the monarchs addressed by Baha’u’llah, and have commenced reading, principally at this stage the life of Napoleon III.

II.

Approaches to social theory. I am interested in themes that overlap with my work at the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies. In general, this means an interest in theories of state and civil society, and the various components of their structure (parliaments, courts, systems of executive operation) and means of interaction (theoretic: notions of authority, democracy, legitimacy, law, constitutionalism; and actual: media, electoral systems, etc). Focus on the concepts of unity and pluralism requires consideration of conflict resolution. I am attempting to write a chapter on ‘governance and conflict’ for a book being edited by Charles Lerche as part of the Emergence series.

Each of the themes mentioned above relates to inquiry into how Bahá'í communities understand and practice governance. To aid this inquiry, I am reading on two themes: Habermas’ theory of communicative action (especially Between Facts and Norms), and ‘learning community’. The latter topic, about which much appears on the internet, is expressed in my involvement in the Regional Teaching Committee for Victoria. This committee takes a ‘learning organisation’ approach to its activities in the region, manifest in such innovations as the "Victorian Bahá'í Community Expo", the monthly "Community Forum", the establishment of offices of Human Resources, Education, Youth, and Communications – and the development by this last office of a communicative capacity by website (FLAME Online), internet (FLAME Express) and traditional print media (which I guess can be called the ‘old flame’).

III.

Information Collection. I am hoping to make increasing use of the internet for these and other scholarship projects. For instance, I am interested in identifying the most relevant bibliographic and full-text databases that can be searched on the internet, or through such other means as cd rom. These can be newspaper databases, but also discipline and area specific databases. A second goal is to identify useful ‘push browsers’ that systematically collect and refer relevant material. A third goal is to increase interaction on internet discussion groups, for directed scholarship ends. For instance, I participate on the list "Bahai-outposts" – a list of interest to pioneers and others interested in ‘remote’ Bahá'í Communities – by periodically posting information on the Knights of Baha’u’llah, and inviting elaborations, corrections and clarifications, from other list participants. All this work is, alas, hindered by a lack of knowledge of how computers work.

Hassall@law.unimelb.edu.au

 

Jane Hunt

Chief among my thoughts at present, is the observation of examples in Australian society of the evolution of Bahá'í principles in chronological correspondence to the unfolding of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation. For example, Rose Scott, feminist, and campaigner for women's suffrage in New South Wales, turns out, on reading her private papers, much more spiritual in nature than her biographer, Judith Allen, would have us believe. In her papers, Rose Scott espoused numerous principles now taken for granted by Bahá'ís, and explained them in spiritual terms. She argued that men and women displayed spiritual qualities that could be used in a complementary manner, that science and religion were also complementary, and that independence should attend the pursuit of knowledge by men and women. She outlined a Bahá'í-like formula for consultation and problem solving, and a non-party approach to the democratic process. Further, in an unfinished partly autobiographical novel she also recorded her own prayer, made on the morning her sixteenth birthday, that she could dedicate her life to the service of others, and that she could speak to Jesus himself and learn what he would want her to do. She turned sixteen in 1863. This is but one example of what may be interpreted as an early response to the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh. My reading of the biographies and private papers of other Australian women suggests that they too may have responded unconsciously to the spirit of the age. This accumulation of evidence of the emergence of the spirit of a new era in Australia, even before the actual arrival of the Faith, is an interesting and illuminating project. It is also one that my own work seems to inevitably complement, hence my growing interest.

Jane Hunt

HISJHP@srv0.arts.ed.ac.uk

 

Charles Lerche

My Bahá'í Studies agenda has always been fairly straightforward. I became convinced a long time ago that the Teachings of the Faith, and the world view of a committed Bahá'í, could very usefully be brought to bear on a wide spectrum of practical problems in society and epistemological problems in the social sciences. Both the New World Order series and other articles I have written, have been efforts in this direction. I have found this a very exciting intellectual experience since there is great creative energy in the Faith, and an ever-widening pool of scholars working along these lines. My current project is the 3rd volume of the New World Order series, which focuses on Conflict Resolution. I am pleased to report that there will be both theoretical and practical work applying the Bahá'í Teachings to a variety of issues in this vast field which extends from the inner workings of the psyche to the macro-level of international relations.

Charles Lerche

clerche@nws.aubg.bg

 

 

Thomas Linard

The fact is, I'm currently accomplishing my Obligatory National Service as a conscientious objector, so my work is somewhat frustrated for the time being. **********

Thomas Linard (b. 1973 in Bourges, France) directs the bulk of his studies toward the important field of primary sources. He has compiled a bibliography of French sources about the Bahá'í Faith, Bibliographie des ouvrages de langue francaise mentionnant les religions babie ou baha'ie, of which the first part (1844-1944) is completed, and the second forthcoming; he established also a catalogue of the Barney Collection of the NSA of France's archives. He publishes his results and reproduces some of his findings on the Web, which he considers to be a very useful means of making available material for research http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/2385/

linard@monza.u-strasbg.fr

 

Moojan Momen

I am just finishing a book to be published by Oneworld Publishers called "The Phenomenon of Religion" - on the study of religion. Out recently, edited by myself, a collection of papers: Scripture and Revelation. Bahá'í Studies vol. 3. Oxford: George Ronald, 1997.

Moojan

momen@momen.org

http://www.momen.org/

 

June Perkins

Presently June is undertaking a doctorate at the University of Sydney researching the negotiation of social change through the indigenous drama of the Pacific and Australia, by focusing on four major case studies drawn from the region. Among them are a Kiribati Video/Film unit, with Bahá'ís involved in its work, and a highly successful non-Bahá'í dance group based in Sydney which tours world wide, Bangarra. Since embarking on this research she has also begun writing plays and working on collaborative drama productions with women and youth. Currently she is researching and writing a play about the life of Fred Murray, an early IndigenousAustralian Bahá'í. She is working towards workshopping the play for production with a group of Bahá'í's and non-Bahá'ís of both indigenous and non-indigenous background in a practical demonstration of unity in diversity and to interest Australian Bahá'ís in looking at the history of Aboriginal people entering the Bahá'í Faith. She is also working on her first collection of poems which will cover themes of motherhood, unity in diversity and social change.

June Kathleen Paisa Perkins, Bachelor of Arts (hons) University of Melbourne, Graduate Certificate of Education (Tertiary Teaching) James Cook University, currently undertaking PhD supervised by English Department and Centre for Performing Arts, University of Sydney - mother. Background Bahá'í/Mekeo/English/Australian

june@mis.net.au

Tahere Pourshafie

Currently the topic of my research is: Achieving inner and outer balance: an exploratory study of the role of the school in the child's acquisition of wisdom. As a first step, this thesis proposes to integrate ideas from four perspectives, those of philosophy, psychology, cultural studies and comparative religious studies, in order to define wisdom. The second step will be to look at the possibilities and processes of the acquisition of wisdom by children, and its facilitation by teachers and care-givers. The primary reason for this research is what Sternberg (1990:332) lucidly describes in his paper:

It is hoped that research on wisdom will help to develop useful tools to assist world and national leaders in the increasingly complex problems facing humanity. Many crucial decisions, from nuclear waste to water use, face leaders and policy makers each day. Thus, wisdom is not simply for wise people or curious psychologists: it is for all people and the future of the world.

Delors (1996:14), chairperson of the UNESCO International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century, states that the reawakening of the moral and cultural dimensions of education would need to begin "with self-understanding through an inner voyage", whose aim is not only to foster the development of the full range of human capacities, but also "to grasp the individuality of other people and to understand the world's erratic progression towards a certain unity". As an appropriate example, exploring the above mentioned ideologies within its universal principles, the Bahá'í world community will be studied - Bahá'í schools around the

world.

Best regards,

Tahereh

Tahere.Pourshafie@flinders.edu.au

 

Felicity Rawlings

Outline of doctoral thesis currently in progress at the Institute of Education, University of London

Title: Globalisation, Curricula and International Student Communities: A Case Study of the United World College of the Atlantic

The thesis explores micro-level effects of globalisation in the domain of education. Specifically, it explores the role of curricula in assisting young people to contribute as members of an international community, to constructive social change. A case study design has been adopted to investigate whether certain curricular and pedagogical interventions are effective tools for the development of globally oriented student communities. The United World College of the Atlantic, in Wales, is the case study institution for this enquiry.

The thesis, which is informed by theories of globalisation and social evolution, explores a range of innovative approaches and strategies and assesses their impact on student behaviour and attitudes. It aims to lay foundations for new theoretical paradigms by providing fresh insights into the dynamics between international education and human behaviour.

The Institute is an exciting initiative. Perhaps I will be able to attend in 1999! Wishing you all the best for the Institute, kind regards,

Felicity Rawlings

rfapeen@ioe.ac.uk

 

Peter Smith

Many thanks for your forwarded message, and all good wishes for your upcoming conference. As you know, my main research interest is trying to survive bus journeys in Bangkok traffic. Apart from that, I would like to be working on a book on Shoghi Effendi's writings in English. All I need is another lifetime!!

Peter

peter@maia.cl.au.ac.th

 

Will C. van den Hoonaard

As you can well appreciate we had a very busy year over here in Canada with Bahá'í Studies. Before I present the report I should emphasize that Bahá'í research in Canada has picked up immensely in the past few years, but because I am not always aware of all these developments, my report is of necessity quite limited. I apologize for this shortcoming.

We suddenly seem to be making great strides in Bahá'í scholarship. In May 1996, Paula Drewek completed her PhD thesis at the U. of Ottawa, entitled, "Cross-Cultural Testing of Fowler's Model of Faith Development: the Bahá'ís of Canada and India." We have another PhD thesis along the way and that one is by Lynn Echevarria-Howe who is in the midst of completing her work, "Seeing Through the Vision: Life Narrative Analysis of Canadian Bahá'í Women." Her supervisor is Paul Thompson of Essex University (England) who is the leading authority in such analysis. She is poised to complete her work this year. Her PhD work is supported by a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the first dissertation research to have received this honour.

Chris Buck completed in dissertation at the U. of Toronto, "Paradise and Paradigm: Key Symbols in `Persian' Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith" in 1996. We are very proud of his exceptional accomplishment which received wonderful reviews from a number of non-Bahá'í scholars.

University Bahá'ís in Canada have also been experimenting with a new format of presenting the Faith in university settings. They invite non-Bahá'í scholars to research the Bahá'í Writings and offer their views along the lines of their topic of research. This has been successfully done at McMaster University and the University of New Brunswick. Jonah Winters, a PhD candidate in Middle-Eastern Studies, has set up his by now well-known website that contains not only many, many unpublished and published papers on the Bahá'í Faith and the Bahá'í community, but has also organized a sound list of Bahá'í scholars. Todd Lawson continues to render substantial scholarly work in the field of Islamic Studies.

Further to Bahá'í research in Canada, we were fortunate that Wilfrid Laurier University Press published _The Origins of the Bahá'í Community of Canada, 1898-1948_ which was peer reviewed by a panel of Canadian scholars, as a result of which the Canadian Government through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada gave a publication subvention. The book is receiving favourable reviews in non-Bahá'í and Bahá'í journals.

Currently, there are two other research projects involving the Bahá'í communities in Canada; both have been commissioned by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís in Canada. The first, commissioned in 1996, was completed last week (end January 1998): it is an empirical study of how the Bahá'ís are implementing the equality of women and men. Drs Deborah and Will van den Hoonaard (both sociologists) undertook this study, involving focus groups across Canada, consisting of youth, Persians, village, town, and city focus groups, francophones, and aboriginals. The research has already been presented in several academic circles and warmly received at the U. of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, the 1997 Qualitative Analysis Conference, and the Departments of Sociology and Psychology at the University of New Brunswick.

The final research activity will, hopefully, expand even more our horizons in terms of Bahá'í research. The National Spiritual Assembly of Canada submitted a major grant proposal to the Canadian Federal Department of Canadian Heritage to study how Bahá'í communities in Canada are overcoming racial/ethnic segregation and social isolation of minorities. Drs. van den Hoonaard are making arrangements to have their respective universities set up the infra-structure for the research. The arrangements are complicated, but the funding will place Bahá'í research on a more solid foundation in Canadian academic life---we hope!!--along with many of the other initiatives mentioned above. We look forward to another tremendous year in 1998. We have some 70 Bahá'ís who are either doctoral students or faculty in 30 of Canada's 70 universities.

Warmest regards, Will

WILL@UNB.CA

 

Jonah Winters

A Resource Guide for the Scholarly Study of the Bahá'í Faith is edition seven of what was previously titled A Curriculum Guide for the Bahá'í Faith. Editions one through five consisted primarily of the Curriculum Guides section (section one in current edition) with a limited annotated bibliography and only one appendix. In editions six and seven the scholarly bibliography and its annotations grew in size and the appendices in number, such that the Guide became far more than simply one for curricula. Its new title reflects its broader content.

The purpose of the Resource Guide is to provide information about how to include the Bahá'í Faith in college and university courses, to give an annotated bibliography of reliable scholarship for the student or researcher, and to provide him or her with a selection of helpful resources. It was written with four audiences in mind: (1) university instructors in Religious Studies, Sociology, Middle East Studies, and other disciplines, who usually do not know much about the Bahá'í religion and may want to include it in their existing courses; (2) instructors at colleges and universities who are Bahá'ís and would like to offer courses on the Bahá'í religion, but who do not have training in Religious Studies, and thus do not know what educational standards exist in that field; (3) Bahá'í students at colleges and universities who would like to propose a course to the university administration or its Religious Studies department; (4) those who wish to do research on the Bahá'í Faith and need an annotated bibliography and resource manual to guide them.

In order to fill the needs of these four very different audiences, the Resource Guide has four main parts: the Curriculum Guides, the Annotated Bibliography, Assorted Resource Tools, and Indices.

1) Curriculum Guides for Teaching the Bahá'í Faith

The curriculum guide segment provides some possible outlines for academic presentations of the Bahá'í Faith. Course outlines include: (1) an introductory article about the Bahá'í Faith, entitled "The Bahá'í Faith: A Short Introduction"; (2), a three-hour section on the Bahá'í Faith designed for inclusion in a course on Comparative Religion, which lists relevant paragraphs from Section Two, "Annotated Bibliography of Scholarship on the Bahá'í Faith"; (3) outlines of four complete one-semester courses on the Bahá'í Faith, with numerous references to the annotated topical bibliography, including "A Comparative Religion Approach," "A Sociological Study of the Bahá'í Community," "The Bahá'í Faith

in Historical and Comparative Perspectives," and "A Traditional Bahá'í Approach to the Bahá'í Faith."

These outlines are designed to offer assistance for many of the different ways of approaching the Bahá'í Faith. First, there is the "comparative religion" approach. Here we intentionally favor the term "comparative religion" over "history of religions" because we do not choose to emphasize history as much as an examination of the Bahá'í religion from the point of view of the major themes found in most religions: prophecy, doctrine, scripture, community life, ethics, ritual, pilgrimage, mysticism, and others. Second, there is the "sociological" approach, which emphasizes the members of the religion themselves: what they believe and why, how they have come to believe it, how they organized themselves into a community, and what that community means to them. Third, there is what might be called a traditional Bahá'í approach, which emphasizes the founders of the Bahá'í Faith, their writings and teachings, and the Bahá'í organizational system.

In a sense, the three approaches can be epitomized by considering three terms: Bahá'í religion, Bahá'í community, and Bahá'í Faith. "Bahá'í religion" is a neutral term and carries the overtones of impartial scholarly study. "Bahá'í community" focuses on the members, individually or collectively, and de-emphasizes the doctrinal and leadership aspects of the tradition. "Bahá'í Faith" is the traditional term that Bahá'ís use for their religion and therefore conveys overtones of piety or sympathetic appreciation for the tradition.[1] In the appropriate sphere for each--the comparative-religious, the sociological, and the traditionally Bahá'í--each term claims primacy for expressing the essence of the Bahá'í phenomenon.

2) Annotated Bibliography of Scholarship on the Bahá'í Faith

The annotated topical bibliography, comprising the bulk of the Resource Guide, consists of definitions of most major aspects of Bahá'í history and belief and corresponding references. The contents of this bibliography are not intended to be exhaustive. Indeed, we have only listed a fraction of the available scholarship. In choosing what to list, we considered: (1) whether the source is too dated; (2) whether the source is academic enough to be useful in a university setting; and (3) whether the source presents enough information to be useful. For the most part, then, we have left out: (1) old scholarship, of which there is very little, anyway; (2) apologetic and "popular" works; and (3) sources with less than a few pages of applicable information. Exceptions to the above include: (1) dated works that are still useful or that have not yet been replaced by newer scholarship on the same topic; (2) popular works that yet provide useful information or, indeed, the only published information on a topic; and (3) sources that, though being short, represent the only available information on a subject.

3) Assorted Resource Tools

The Resource Guide includes a variety of appendices and indices of possible value to the researcher. First are bibliographies: writings of Bahá'u'lláh and the "Leiden List" of the major tablets of Bahá'u'lláh--which manuscripts contain them in their original language, their place of revelation, and their translation history--followed by lists of the major published works of the Báb, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi, respectively; the citations of the Bábí and Bahá'í religions found in some of the more common humanities indices, such as the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature and a table presenting the treatment of the Bahá'í Faith in religion textbooks, dictionaries, and Encyclopedias. Second are two essays: a brief article which clarifies the common misunderstanding that the Bahá'í Faith is a syncretism, and an explanation of the many Bahá'í resources available on the internet. Third are various listings: Bahá'í videos suitable for classroom use; a glossary of common Bahá'í terms, including pronunciation notes; and names and addresses of the major Bahá'í publishers and journals, both independent and official.

4) Indices

Finally, a comprehensive bibliography and two indices complete the Guide. The bibliography lists every work cited in the Resource Guide. The two indices are one listing all journals and encyclopedias cited, and then one of all authors, titles, and subjects mentioned.

The Resource Guide is not a completed product, but will undergo expansion, modification, and updating as new materials are published and as feedback leads to improvements. We encourage comments and criticisms. As well, we would like to know of any useful and scholarly books or articles that we have not cited.

How to order copies of A Resource Guide for the Scholarly Study of the Bahá'í Faith: The on-line version of the Resource Guide closely approximates the printed edition, but suffers from a certain lack of formatting and the loss of many diacritics. Contact Jonah Winters, winters@interlog.com, for information on ordering a hard copy.


Forthcoming conferences/events


Australia and New Zealand

The Australian annual Bahá'í Studies Conference will be held on Sat 11 and Sun 12 July this year, at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The theme "Moral Development" is relevant to our personal, community and business lives, as well as our children's well-being, and also to Pacific and 'Spiritual Axis' issues and, ultimately, the unity of humankind.

WHY AUCKLAND?

We are collaborating on this year's conference with the Association for Bahá'í Studies New Zealand, to promote four significant objectives:

1. To provide a venue for discussion of Pacific perspectives on moral development

2. To promote dialogue among scholars on the "spiritual axis" embracing Southeast Asia and the Pacific, as well as Australia and New Zealand

3. To encourage cross-cultural dialogue on successful models of moral development

4. To facilitate the exchange of information which fosters the development of our respective activities in the Association for Bahá'í Studies

 

WHY MORAL DEVELOPMENT?

"…even a cursory glance at current global concerns points to the need for a renewed emphasis on developing in every individual an inner guide, an ethical vision, or, as many commonly say now, a "moral compass"

Reflection on … two key concepts - that each individual must develop his or her own inner guide and that all morality today must be viewed through the lens of human oneness - can best be pursued by recognizing the spiritual nature of human reality." (One Country / April-June 1997)

The Universal House of Justice selected moral development as one of the four external affairs priorities of the Bahá'í Faith.

CALL FOR PAPERS

Please submit your 200 word abstract to the Secretary of the Association for Bahá'í Studies - New Zealand, Paul Friedman, PO Box 847, Hamilton, New Zealand

e-mail: paul.friedman@xtra.co.nz

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 March 1998

Deadline for submission of full papers: 31 May 1998

We welcome presentations on:

Moral development subjects, such as:- * Moral community in the Pacific * A moral foundation for our children * The good society * Moral education * Business ethics * Youth suicide. Any other subject contributing to: * Studies of the history, teachings & philosophy of the Bahá'í Faith * Applications of Bahá'í principles to the concerns of society.

REGISTRATION, ACCOMMODATION, TRAVEL ETC

The registration fee is only $60 ($50 for ABS members) including refreshments and lunches. Full details are in the brochure/registration form.

 

One hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Siege of Sheykh Tabarsi

A handful of ordinary people marching mostly on foot tried to take a refuge in the densest part of a jungle. They took sanctuary in the confines of a local shrine after repeated harassment and attacks by local populace. Hundreds more traveled, some under the most dangerous conditions, to lend their hands of support to their co-religionists in mere obedience to the call of the Well-Beloved, whom they had never met. Though seemingly defeated but with their death they opened a proud chapter in the history of the world religions and with their life-blood they ushered in the coming of the Promised Day.

The Association for Bahá'í Studies extends a loving invitation to all the Australian Bahá'ís to participate in its inaugural Symposium in Persian-Arabic studies marking the 150 anniversary of Siege of Sheykh Tabarsi.

The events of Fort Tabarsi transpired one of the most dramatic episodes of the first epoch of the Bahá'í Dispensation. It will be recognised, viewed in its proper perspective, to have ushered in one of the most eventful and momentous periods in the world's religious history. The directive force which sustained it, the beloved Guardian assures us, was none other than that which flowed from the mind of Bahá'u'lláh. Its heroes were the flower of the Bab's disciples. Its martyrs comprised no less than half of the Letters of the Living, not excluding the most prominent of them, Quddus and Mulla Husayn. Bahá'u'lláh elevated Quddus to a rank second to none except that of the Herald of His Revelation; on whose "detachment and the sincerity of whose devotion to God's will God prideth Himself amidst the Concourse on high". And in terms of Mulla Hussayn, whom the Bab had referred to as "beloved of My Heart" the Kitab-i-Iqan acclaimed as the one but for whom "God would not have been established upon the seat of His mercy, nor ascended the throne of eternal glory;"

These tales of magnificent heroism, is the ardent hope of the Association, to be a source of great inspiration, and at this historic moment, the fountainhead of an impetus for the advancement of the Faith of God in this continent. Furthermore, it is a matter of great pride for the Association to be able to provide the means and opportunities for the Australian Bahá'í community to reflect and study, in a systematic way, the tenets, history, and the Writings of our beloved Faith in their original language, the language of the Central Figures of the Faith.

The symposium will be held on the weekend of 26-27 September in Sydney. All the proceedings will be conducted in Persian but hopefully the necessary provisions will be set in place for the instantaneous translation into English. The National Board of the Association for Bahá'í Studies will shortly release a more detailed announcement regarding the program, international speakers, accommodation, and the cost.

with Loving Bahá'í Greetings

Australian Association for Bahá'í Studies

 

English Speaking Europe

The Moral Maze: The ABS(ESE) 1998 Annual Conference 31 October and 1 November 1998, Oxford

The 1998 annual conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies (English-Speaking Europe) has the theme of 'The Moral Maze'. The Executive Committee invites submissions for presentations on subjects under this theme, for example: Values education; Arguments for/against the secular society; Human rights; The role of morality in politics, media, the arts etc.; Analyses of specific current moral dilemmas; and/or any submissions of relevance to our Special Interest Groups: Religious Studies; International Law and Politics; Science; Education; Gender. Submissions should be in the form of an abstract (less than one page). Full papers are desirable but not mandatory; it is intended that the conference proceedings (abstracts and/or full papers) will be made available on the World Wide Web.

Abstracts for presentations should be sent by 31 July to the Conference Registrar, Roger Kingdon, at: 45 The Warren, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 3XB or e-mail: roger.kingdon@aeat.co.uk

 

Singapore

The Never-ending Journey of the Soul

The 3rd Singapore Bahá'í Studies Conference, Sunday, April 5th, 1998

Program

Heaven, Hell and the Afterlife ( Mrs Lynette Thomas)

Progress of the Soul in Chinese Belief (Dr Phyllis Chew)

Enlightenment and the Soul in Mahayana Buddhism ( Mr Yeo Yew Hock )

Death: Resurrection, Reincarnation, or Rebirth? (Dr Arun Balasubramaniam)

The Mystic Journey of the Soul (Mrs Rosy Zaman)

Science and the Soul (Dr Anjam Khursheed)

For Further information contact: Dr Anjam Khursheed at Blk. B, #09--02, Kent Vale, 105 Clementi Road, Singapore 129789, Tel. 779 8415 or Dr Phyllis Chew at Tel. 766 3504 or 460 5118.

 

`Irfan Colloquia

`Irfán Colloquia are being held annually, in North America and in Europe, and in the English and Persian languages, for the promotion of deeper and more systematic study of the sacred Writings. `Irfán is a Persian-Arabic word referring to mystical, theological and spiritual knowledge. `Irfán Colloquia is sponsored by the Haj Mehdi Arjmand Memorial Fund that was established in 1992 to foster scriptural studies. Haj Mehdi Arjmand (1861-1941), was a prominent scholar-teacher of the Bahá'i Faith in Persia. Activities of `Irfán Colloquia are jointly organized by the Education and Schools Office, Institute for Bahá'i Studies, and the Persian-Americans Affairs Office of the Bahá'i National Center. Currently a four year program for the study of the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh is conducted through annual seminars in conjunction with Colloquia sessions. The annual residential sessions in Persian are held at the Acuto Center for Bahá'í Studies and at the Louhelen Bahá'í School. The sessions in English are held in various academic institutions such as University of Newcastle and Middlesex University, U.K.

Research papers presented at these colloquia are published in a series of books in both English and Persian languages. The first volume of papers in English language is published by George Ronald under the title of SCRIPTURE AND REVELATION. The first volume of the papers in Persian language is published by Asr-i-Jadid Publishers in Germany under the title of SAFINEH-I-IRFAN. Abstracts of the papers in English could be ordered through the Research Office of the Bahá'i National Center.

Since 1992 sixteen sessions of Irfan Colloquium have been organized in North Americas and Europe. Over 120 research papers have been presented and discussed in these gatherings. A Bibliographical list of these papers could be ordered from the Research office of the Bahá'í National Center.

In 1998 four sessions of the Irfan Colloquium will be held, mainly devoted to the studies related to the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh revealed in Istanbul and Adrianople period as well as paper presentations on the Bahá'í Faith and the World Religions. Non-Bahá'í scholars are welcome to present their studies related to the themes of the sessions. A few such presentations have so far been made at the sessions in English language.

Members of the Scientific Committee cum Editorial Board of the Colloquia are Dr. Moojan Momen, Dr. Robert Stockman, Dr. Manuchehr Derakhshani and Dr. Iraj Ayman. Mr. Stephen Lambden and Mr. Habib Riazati are serving as resource persons and consultants to the Committee.

June 19-28, Irfan Colloquium and Seminar (in Persian), Acuto Center for Bahá'í Studies, Italy. This session includes a program celebrating the 150th anniversary of Badasht conference and a memorial Meeting horning professor Alessandro Bausani on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of his passing.

August 21-24, Irfan Colloquium and Seminar (in English), Middlesex University, London, U. K.

October 9-12, Irfan Colloquium and Seminar (in Persian), Louhelen Bahá'í School, Michigan, U.S.A.

November 6-8, Irfan Colloquium and Seminar (in English), Louhelen Bahá'í School, Michigan. U.S.A.

The Colloquia are for paper presentation and the Seminars are for the study of the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh. All inquires could be addressed to: Iraj Ayman, Coordinator, Irfan Colloquia, Bahá'í national Center, 1233 central Street, Evanston, IL 60201-1611. E-Mial:iayman@usbnc.org


Addresses for International Affiliate Associations for Bahá'í Studies


Centro de Estudios Bahá'ís Association for Bahá'í Studies—Australia

Argentina Colin Dibdin, Secretary

Otamendi 215 P.O. Box 319

(1405) Buenos Aires Rosebery, N.S.W. 2018

Argentina Australia

Association for Bahá'í Studies— Associacao de Estudios Bahá'ís do Brasil

Bermuda Caixa Postal No. 11019

46 Cut Road 80.421 Curitiba-Parana

"Channel View" Brasil

St. George's G.E. 04 Brazil

Bermuda

Association for Bahá'í Studies— Asociacion de Estudios Bahá'ís—Chile

Cameroon c/o NSA of the Bahá'ís of Chile

c/o Mr. Enoch Tanyi c/o Casilla 3731

B.P. 4230–Yaounde Santiago 1

Cameroon Chile

Asociacion de Estudios Bahá'ís— The Bahá'í Study Association

Colombia East, South, and Central Africa

c/o Asamblea Espiritual Nacional c/o Dr. C. Rouhani, Secretary

de los Bahá'ís de Colombia P.O. Box 82549

Apartado Aereo 51387 Mombasa

Santa Fe de Bogota 12 Kenya

Colombia East, South, and Central Africa

Asociacion de Estudios Bahá'ís— Ecuador Association for Bahá'í Studies—

c/o Asamblea Espiritual Nacional English-Speaking Europe

de los Bahá'ís del Ecuador Roger Kingdon, Secretary

Apartado 869-A c/o 27 Rutland Gate

Quito London SW7 1PD, England

Ecuador English-Speaking Europe

Association D'Etudes Bahá'íes Gesellschaft Fur Bahá'í-Studien

Europe Francophone Wirichsbongardstr. 40

24. route de Malagnou D-52062

CH–1208, Geneva Germany

Switzerland German-Speaking Europe

Association of Bahá'í Studies—Ghana Chapter Association for Bahá'í Studies—

c/o The NSA of Ghana Hawaii

P.O. Box 7098 c/o Robert McClelland

Accra-North 1414 Komo Mai Drive

Ghana Pearl City, Hawaii

USA 96782-2244

Association for Bahá'í Studies—India

C-12 Vidyanagari

Mumbai University

Santacruz (East), Mumbai-400 098

India

 

Associazione Italiana per gli Studi Bahá'í Association for Bahá'í Studies—Japan

c/o NSA of the Bahá'ís of Italy c/o Tokyo Bahá'í Centre

Via della Fontanella 4 7–2–13 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku

I-00187, Rome Tokyo 160

Italy Japan

Association for Bahá'í Studies—Malaysia Association for Bahá'í Studies—New Zealand

c/o NSA of Bahá'ís of Malaysia c/o NSA of the Bahá'ís of New Zealand

4 Lorong Titiwangsa 5 P.O. Box 21–551

Setapak Henderson, Auckland

53000 Kuala Lumpur New Zealand

Malaysia

Association for Bahá'í Studies—Russian Federation

Moscow 107207

Uralskaya St. 6-1-66

Russia

La Asociacion de Estudios Bahá'ís—Puerto Rico

c/o Cesar Reyes, Secretary

Chemistry Dept. Univ. of Puerto Rico

Mayaguez, PR

USA 00708

Association for Bahá'í Studies—Singapore Asociacion de Estudios Bahá'ís de España

c/o Dr. Anjam Khursheed c/o Rima Sheermohamadi-Motlaq

B, #09-02, Kent Vale C/Padilla 312 2 2

105 Clementi Road 08025 Barcelona

Singapore 129789 Spain

Association for Bahá'í Studies— Association for Bahá'í Studies—

Trinidad and Tobago Venezuela

c/o NSA of the Bahá'ís of Trinidad and Tobago Apartado 934

3 Petra Street Barquisimeto

Woodbrook, Trinidad, W.I. Edo. Lara 3001-A

Trinidad and Tobago Venezuela

Association for Bahá'í Studies—

West Africa

c/o NSA of the Bahá'ís of Nigeria

P.O. Box 2029

Marina-Lagos

Nigeria

West Africa

 

 

Colloquium Human Rights and Moral Education within the Asia-Pacific Context:

A Spiritual Axis Perspective on Development


(ABS-North America Annual Conference, Washington DC, November 14-16, 1997)

 

Summary

In 1957 Shoghi Effendi noted the importance of the Spiritual Axis extending from the Antipodes to the northern islands of the Pacific Ocean, and in the 153 Ridvan Message to the Pacific, the Universal House of Justice reaffirmed the urgent need for development in this area. Addressing the call for greater collaborative Bahá'í scholarship, the papers in this colloquium treat human rights and developmental issues in the region, identifying current trends and future prospects, and describe specific educational projects in the Pacific, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia.

 

Abstracts

1. Ms. Barbara Sims

"The Significance of the Spiritual Axis and the Development of the Bahá'í Faith in the Asia-Pacific Region"

As the opening talk of the colloquium, this presentation will provide the framework for the themes addressed in the subsequent papers. The concept of Spiritual Axis will be introduced and its development from the time of its first mention by Shoghi Effendi in the1950s up to the present will be discussed. Particular attention will be given to Shoghi Effendi's 1957 statement regarding the "spiritual equilibrium" which will effect the destiny of the Faith in the Pacific area. Historical highlights of the establishment of the Bahá'í Faith in the Spiritual Axis region will be reviewed, with special emphasis on the rise of the Faith in Australia and Japan, the two poles of the Axis.

2. Dr. Graham Hassall

"Modelling Human Rights Education: A View from the Pacific"

The Asia-Pacific is a region of diverse traditions regarding human rights and obligations. With the emergence of the global human rights discourse in the second half of the twentieth century, issues of identity and difference have become increasingly important. There is no regional human rights organization in the Asia-Pacific, and a number of nations insist on defining rights from their specific historical and cultural circumstances. Thus, if Bahá'í communities wish to become successfully involved in the promotion of human rights development, they will have to address two fundamental questions. First, what model of "human rights" is elaborated in the Bahá'í Writings? Second, since Bahá'ís promote universal human rights but also acknowledge the principles of diversity and difference, how will Bahá'í communities in the Asia-Pacific approach problems caused by such diversity? Only after examining these and other important questions will Bahá'í communities in the Asia-Pacific be well placed to engage in human rights discourse. What is needed, therefore, is a model of human rights education for Asia-Pacific Bahá'í communities that examines the Bahá'í Writings on the subject and considers current global and national human rights viewpoints and preferable futures (global, regional, and domestic) from the Bahá'í perspective.

3. Dr. Humaida Jumalon

"Values Curriculum with a Bahá'í Theme for Public Secondary Schools in the Philippine Setting"

A curriculum on Values Education for public secondary schools in the Philippines was initially developed by a team of Bahá'í educators and was then completed by the writer as her doctoral dissertation. The curriculum will be offered to the Department of Education, Culture and Sports of the Philippine government to be used for Values Education, a subject currently taught in Philippine public secondary schools. The Values Education curriculum may also be used for out-of-school youth and for enrollees in non-formal education classes.

The curriculum includes four learning units, each containing sub-units with learning objectives, lesson plans, prototypical experiences, evaluation procedures, a glossary and references. The curriculum emphasizes the spiritual basis for human development and has a nonsectarian, rational and inductive approach involving the active participation of the students in discovering truths and principles. It focuses on affective and volitional competencies and it puts emphasis on the spiritual qualities of the individual in the context of local, national and world community. It is permeated by Bahá'í teachings and principles, yet is without bias towards other revealed religions. It is hoped that this curriculum will produce students with lasting universal qualities, conscious of their human rights, and at the same time, productive and morally upright citizens.

4. Dr. Michael Higgins

"Education and Socialization for a Global Society: New Models of Ethically and Spiritually Based Education" * (not presented)

This presentation will explore the theoretical under-pinnings and the history of the development of the two IEI (International Educational Initiatives, Inc.) affiliated schools currently teaching within this philosophical matrix and adapting our Global Immersion Curriculum Guide to their specific circumstances. The talk will consider practical aspects of implementing, administering, and evaluating these two programs under very different cultural, sociological, legal, linguistic and structural settings.

5. Ms. Katayoun Sedghi-Hassall

"Human Rights Education and Collaborative Knowledge Production in the Asia-Pacific"

Discussion of human rights education begins by determining what is a human right. The production and standardization of knowledge about human rights requires an answer to the basic political and moral question: "How should we live?" Bahá'í scholars do not delegate the task of answering this question to any human enterprise, but rather to Divine Educators. Therefore, Bahá'í scholarship has a twofold task. On one hand, it must identify the different ways the question is answered by current practices and structures of academic, social, political and economic institutions, including the enterprise of Bahá'í scholarship itself. In addition, Bahá'í scholarship must articulate responsible ways of answering the question generated through the creative interaction between Bahá'í moral principles and the way of life of the "we" inferred in the answer.

This twofold task for human rights education informs the collaborative work of Bahá'í scholarship in Asia-Pacific aimed at securing the basic human right of access to the generation and application of knowledge. Bahá'í scholarship and its institutions have the moral responsibility to develop processes of knowledge production sensitized to both Bahá'í spiritual principles and to post-colonial ways of life. This requires a fundamental change in concepts of knowledge production, of power and of cognitive authority. These changes also require a shift in our understanding of "concepts"-- away from the purely analytical to those generated in practice as we go about living a Bahá'í way of life.

 

 

6. Mr. Bill Barnes

"The Meeting of Bahá'u'lláh, the Orient, and the Occident: Concepts of Self, Human Rights and Moral Education at Daystar School Japan" * (not presented)

Daystar International School is the only Bahá'í inspired school in Japan. Like many Bahá'í inspired schools around the world, it faces the daunting task of forging an education which is neither Eastern nor Western, yet which cannot be fully Bahá'í.. It is the on-going challenge of the school to find a path through this maze of conflicting elements to build an integrated, globally-minded educational program. This paper will discuss some of the major points of conflict the staff has experienced and will analyze how these have been resolved using Bahá'í principles.

 

7. Dr. Mohan Narula

"Steps of a Planning and Evaluation Framework as a Tool for Bahá'í Community Development" * (not presented)

In accordance with the principles outlined in the House of Justice's 1985 message, The Promise of World Peace and the letter from the International Teaching Center titled The Complementary Elements of Teaching, Bahá'í communities need to undergo training in planning and evaluation skills. This paper will introduce a framework which can serve as a tool for Bahá'í community development. The key steps of the framework are: (1) A pre-assessment to identify communities which have the potential to set up and sustain a community development program--for example, in health, education, women's development, cottage industry or agriculture; (2) Community needs assessment as a participative activity in which the community is involved in determining its needs for and capacities to establish and operate a program; (3) Development of solutions for primary problems; (4) Development of a plan of action listing the necessary actions to address the problems; (5) Assessment of progress, a step requiring the community and its advisers to determine who will be responsible for measuring progress and suggesting changes.

Training in planning and evaluation skills is in keeping with the emphasis of the Four Year Plan on the development of human resources using the medium of teaching institutes. The utilization of such problem-solving participatory methods will move Bahá'í communities from their current charismatic administrative orientation to a more systematic administrative orientation, thus diminishing the reliance on a small handful of overworked believers, and, at the same time, increasing universal participation--achievements which are key goals for successful community development.

8. Dr. Stephen Friberg

"Education as Scientific, Pedagogic, Technical, and Economic Development: The East Asian Vision of Progress"

East Asia faces the future with hopes for increasing economic success, but with an awareness of the magnitude of the social and moral problems it faces. An unprecedented emphasis on education and an enthusiastic embrace of modern science, technology and methods of economic development combined with a strong sense of family and ready acceptance of sacrifice are the key ingredients of East Asian progress. This marriage of Confucian social values and European/American models of economic development has rapidly raised economic levels, but it is widely perceived as being inadequate to some of the tasks of the next century. An acceptable "road map to the future," it is suggested in this talk, must address the need for social and moral progress in large communities while simultaneously providing a feasible model for individual development and personal fulfilment. But, it must also include a strong emphasis on scientific, pedagogic, technical and economic progress if it is to be considered seriously. In keeping with these requirements, we outline a Bahá'í perspective for future moral and educational development in East Asia.

 

9. Dr. Sandra Fotos

"The Institute Process: An Educational Paradigm for Capacity Building in the Asian-Pacific Context"

The Four Year Plan calls for the spiritual development of individual Bahá'ís, their communities and the various Bahá'í institutions. The Institute Process, itself a new institution, provides a systematic and structured approach to such multi-level advancement. As envisioned by the International Teaching Centre, the Institute Process comprises an extensive range of activities for establishing and carrying out long-term programs of human resource development, starting with a primary focus on the creation of spiritual insight, knowledge and skills.

An interactionist perspective suggesting that meaning is developed through discourse is supported by a number of Bahá'í Writings on consultation and human relations. Demonstrating that the interactive pedagogy used in the Institute Process optimizes learning, this presentation examines the structure and function of Institutes in several Asian-Pacific locations, with special attention to instructional techniques which allow knowledge to be created through the collaboration of the learners. The consultative nature of the Institute Process is seen as particularly appropriate for the long-term development of human resources in the cultures of the Asian-Pacific region. The Institute Process thus provides a new paradigm for capacity building and moral education.

Bibliography of publications in Bábí and Bahá'í Studies, 1997-98


An ever-increasing body of literature on the Bahá'í Faith is being produced by Bahá'í publishers, and such other bodies as Associations for Bahá'í Studies. A list of current Bahá'í Publishers can be found in The Bahá'í World 1995-96. Systematic posting of essays on the world wide web is also widely regarded as "publication". Significant references to the Faith appear in the literature of religious studies, and the social sciences generally, as well as in current affairs literature. The following is a partial listing of recent literature that either refers to, or focuses on, the Bahá'í Faith. It is compiled through searches in bibliographic reference available on cd-rom and on the internet.

General


(1997). The Bahá'í World 1995-96. Haifa, World Centre Publications.

Boyles, A. (1997). World Watch. The Bahá'í World 1995-96. Haifa, World Centre Publications. 223-240.

Gooljar, M. (1997). The techniques of teaching in a letter to Maya: what is Bahai? New York, Vantage.

 

Bahá'í Writings


Abdu'l-Bahá (1997). Wisdom of the Master. Los Angeles, Kalimat Press.

Hassall, G., Ed. (1997). Messages to the Antipodies: Communications from Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'í Communities of Australasia. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia.

 

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Reference

Adamson, H. C. and P. Hainsworth (1997). Historical Dictionary of the Bahá'í Faith, Scarecrow Pr.

Bahá'í Justice Society (1997). "Bahá'í Justice Society Directory 1997-98." .

Boyle, K. and J. Sheen (1997). Freedom of Religion and Belief: A World Report. London & New York, Routledge.

Colless, B. and P. Donovan (1997). Religions in the Pacific. A New Handbook of Living Religions. Oxford, Blackwell. 547-561. Maceoin, D. (1997). Bahá'ísm. A New Handbook of Living Religions. Oxford, Blackwell. 619-643.

Stockman, R. and J. Winters (1997). A Resource Guide for the Scholarly Study of the Bahá'í Faith. Wilmette, Research Office of the Bahá'í National Center.

Welch, A. T. (1997). Islam. A New Handbook of Living Religions. Oxford, Blackwell.

Yerrinbool Bahá'í School Certificate Program (1997). "Statements by the Bahá'í International Community."

 

 

 


Iran

(1997). "Death sentences pronounced against two members of the Bahai faith in Iran." Official journal of the European Communities: Information and notices (97/C 217/326:).

Browne, E. G. (1997). A Literary History of Persia, Iranbooks.

Halm, H. (1997). Shi'a Islam: From Religion to Revolution. Princeton, Markus Wiener Publishers. p114

Murray, W. S. (1997). "Report on Bahá'ís of Iran, 1925." Documents on the Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Movements No 2.

Murray, W. S. (1997). "Report on Murder of Consul Imbrie on Charges of being a Bahá'í." Documents on the Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Movements 1(July).

 


Theology and Comparative Religion

Abizadeh, A. (1997). "Commentary on "A Scientific Proof of the Existence of God"." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 8(1): 69-72.

Brown, K. (1997). Kermes Trismegistus and Apollonius of Tyana in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh. Revisioning the Sacred: New Perspectives on a Bahá'í Theology. Los Angeles, Kalimat Press. 153-188.

Cameron, R. (1997). Alcheringa. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 220-222.

Chew, P. G.-L. (1997). "Life, Death and Immortality: The Taoist Religion in Singapore and the Bahá'í Faith." The Singapore Bahá'í Studies Review 2(1): 69-90.

Clarken, R. H. (1997). "Absolute Poverty and Utter Nothingness." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 8(1): 29-44.

Cole, J. (1997). "Behold the Man: Bahá'u'lláh on the Life of Jesus." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 65(Spring): 47-71.

Cole, J. R. I. (1997). Bahá'u'lláh and Liberation Theology. Revisioning the Sacred: New Perspectives on a Bahá'í Theology. Los Angeles, Kalimat Press. 79-98.

Dibdin, C. (1997). Prerequisites for successful Bahá'í-Christian dialogue. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Fazel, S. (1997). Interreligious Dialogue and the Bahá'í Faith: Some Preliminary Observations. Revisioning the Sacred: New Perspectives on a Bahá'í Theology. Los Angeles, Kalimat Press. 127-152.

Fozdar, J. K. (1997). "The Revivication of the Buddha's Dharma." The Singapore Bahá'í Studies Review 2(1): 51-68.

Hatcher, W. S. (1997). "Author's Response to Commentary." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 8(1): 73-80.

Khursheed, A. (1997). "The Hindu concept of God: Unity in Diversity." The Singapore Bahá'í Studies Review 2(1): 3-50.

Khursheed, A. (1997). "Medieval Islam: The Influence of Islam on Judaism and Christianity." The Singapore Bahá'í Studies Review 2(1): 175-229.

Khursheed, A. (1997). The Spiritual Foundations of Science. Revisioning the Sacred: New Perspectives on a Bahá'í Theology. Los Angeles, Kalimat Press. 99-126.

Lambden, S. N. (1997). The Background and Centrality of Apophatic Theology in Babi and Bahá'í Scriptures. Revisioning the Sacred: New Perspectives on a Bahá'í Theology. Los Angeles, Kalimat Press. 37-78.

Lawson, T. (1997). "Reading Reading Itself: The Bab's 'Sura of the Bees,' A Commentary on the Qur'an 12:93 from the Sura of Joseph." Occasional Papers Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies 5(November).

Malouf, D. (1997). Unveiling the Hidden Words. Oxford, George Ronald

May, D. J. (1997). The Bahá'í Principle of Religious Unity: A Dynamic Perspectivism. Revisioning the Sacred: New Perspectives on a Bahá'í Theology. Los Angeles, Kalimat Press. 1-36.

McLean, J. (1997). Promises to Keep: Thoughts on an Emerging Bahá'í Theology. Revisioning the Sacred: New Perspectives on a Bahá'í Theology. Los Angeles, Kalimat Press.

Milani, K. S. and L. R. Milani (1997). "The Proof Based on Establishment (Dalil-i-taqrir) and the Proof Based on Verses (Hujjiyyat-i-ayat): An Introduction to Bahá'í-Muslim Apologetics." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 7(4): 17-42.

Quin, C. (1997). "Purposeful Spiritual Endeavour: Bahá'ís and Christians." The Singapore Bahá'í Studies Review 2(1): 121-174.

Rowden-Rich, M. (1997). Advancing Society: an integrative process between science and faith. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Sours, M. W. (1998). The station and claims of Bahá'u'lláh. Wilmette, Ill., Bahá'í Pub. Trust.

Woodman, R. (1997). "Commentary on "A Scientific Proof of the Existence of God"." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 8(1): 81-84.

 


Literature

Chance, C. (1997). Despair, Anger and Beauty - The Rise of Aboriginal Writing in the Modern World. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 233-248.

Taylor, M. (1997). Helping Joe Strong. Wilmette, Ill., Bahá'í Pub. Trust.

Woodman, R. (1997). "Metaphor and the Language of Revelation." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 8(1): 1-28.

 


Arts

Perkins, J. (1997). Unity in Diversity: A Vision in Film. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 193-219.

Rowden, L. (1997). ""Notes Postmarked the Mountain of God" by Roger White." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 8(1): 87-90.

Sabha, F. (1997). "Art and Architecture: A Bahá'í Perspective." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 7(3): 53-82.


Biography

Ala'i, B. (1997). "Suhayl Ahmad Ala'i: an ordinary person who lived an extraordinary life." Herald of the South 48: 24-26.

Amanat, Abbas, (1997) Pivot of the Universe: Nasir al-Din Shah Qajar and the Iranian Monarchy 1851-1896, Berlekely & Los Angeles: University of Califorinia Press.

Armstrong-Ingram, R. J. (1997). "Susan L. Moody." Research Notes in Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies 2(June).

Armstrong-Ingram, R. R. (1997). "Horace H. Holley." Research Notes in Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies 3(June).

Buck, C. (1997). "Review of Juan R.I. Cole, "Behold the Man: Bahá'u'lláh on the Life of Jesus", Journal of the American Academy of Religion." Reviews of Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies No 1.

Dahl, T. M. (1997). "The Great Adventure by Florence Mayberry (review)." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 7(4): 87.

Harper, B. (1997). Lights of Fortitude: Glimpses into the Lives of the Hands of the Cause of God. Oxford, George Ronald.

Morgan, A. (1997). Claire Gung: Mother of Africa. Johannesburg, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of South Africa.

Morgan, P. P. (1997). "Ethel Jenner Rosenberg: The Life and Times of England's Outstanding Pioneer Worker by Robert Weinberg (review)." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 7(4): 91.

Perry, A. G. (1997). "The Two Selves of Roger White." Herald of the South 48: 18-21.

Piff Metelmann, V. (1997). Lua Getsinger: Herald of the Covenant. Oxford, George Ronald.

Walbridge, J. (1997). "Mulla 'Abdu'l-Karim Qazvini (Mirza Ahmad Katib)." Research Notes in Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies No 9.

 


History/Sociology

Cole, J. (1998). Modernity and the Millennium: The Genesis of the Bahá'í Faith in the Nineteenth-Century Middle East. New York, Columbia University Press.

Garlington, W. (1997). "The Bahá'í Faith in India: A Developmental Stage Approach." Occasional Papers in Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies 2(June).

Hassall, G. (1997). The Australian Bahá'í Community and the Aboriginal People: Early Interactions. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 47-72.

Hassall, G. (1997). "Racial Unity: An Imperative for Social Progress, Richard W. Thomas (review)." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 7(4): 88-90.

Hok, Y. Y. (1997). "Chinese Family Religion and World Religion." The Singapore Bahá'í Studies Review 2(1): 91-120.

Lee, A. A. (1997). "The Bahá'í Church of Calabar, West Africa: The Problem of Levels in Religious History." Occasional Papers in Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies 1(6).

Lee, A. A. (1997). "Oral History of the Imbrie Affair." Research Notes in Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies 8.

MacEoin, D. (1997). "The Trial of the Bab: Shi'ite Orthodoxy Confronts its Mirror Image." Occasional Papers in Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies 1(May).

McMullen, M. (1998). The religious construction of a global identity: an ethnographic look at the Atlanta Bahai community. Contemporary American religion: an ethnographic reader. Walnut Creek, CA, AltaMira Press.

Mottahedeh, N. (1998). "Ruptured Spaces and Effective Histories: The Unveiling of the Babi Poetess Qurrat al-`Ayn Tahirih in the Gardens of Badasht." Occasional Papers in Shaykhi, Babi and Bahá'í Studies 2(2).

Rinehart, J. F. (1997). Revolution and the Millennium. China, Mexico, and Iran. Westport, Connecticut & London, Praeger. The Babi Revolt in chapt 3: 95-103

Rodwell, V. (1997). Recollections of Early Bahá'í Involvement with Indigenous People. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 101-114.

Thomas, J. M. (1997). "Shoghi Effendi's Plans for Progress Practical Lessons." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 7(4): 69-86.

van den Hoonaard, W. C. (1997). "The Bahá'í Community of Canada: A Case Study in the Transplantation of Non-Western Religious Movements to Western Societies." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 7(3): 17-42.

 

Social and Economic Development


Einfeld, M. (1997). Australia's Indigenous People: The Nation's Shame. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 142-174.

Fallon, F. (1997). What, if anything, do we owe to future generations? From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Ghadirian, A.-M. (1997). "Drugs." Herald of the South 47: 4-7.

Hazlewood, M. (1997). Restructuring society to promote progress and avoid chaos. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Hindson, E. (1997). Aboriginal Families. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 88-100.

Humphries, E. (1997). A village-based global community. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Jahangiri, H. (1997). Perceptions of the causes of poverty: an attributional analysis. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Johnston, S. W. (1997). Who wants freedom from want? The right to development in the Southwest Pacific. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Jones, T. (1997). The Basis of Aboriginal Entrepreneurial and Managerial Skills. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 10-34.

Kolstoe, J. (1997). "Improved Access to Intelligent Responses using the Bahá'í Model of Consultation: Two Exploratory Small-Sample Studies." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 7(4): 1-16.

Payman, V. (1997). Aboriginal Reconciliation: Some Moral and Psychological Requisites. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 3-9.

 


Global Prosperity

Bullen, D. (1997). NGO Perspectives on elimination of poverty on a global scale. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Crandall, J. M. (1997). World Poverty. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Dahl, A. L. (1996). The Eco Principle: Ecology and Economics in Symbiosis. Oxford & London, George Ronald and Zed Books. (reviewed by Peter Calkins in JBS 7:3 1997)

Doost, R. K. (1997). "Religion, the Bahá'í Faith, and Accounting: Is there a link?" Journal of Bahá'í Studies 7(3): 43-52.

Fish, M. (1997). "Economic Prosperity: A Global Imperative." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 7(3): 1-16.

Payman, V. (1997). The prosperity of humankind: A Bahá'í perspective. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Sabetan, F. (1997). "An Exploration into the Political Economy of Global Prosperity." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 7(4): 43-68.

 

Education


Daliri, F. (1997). Literacy at Home and in School: An Ethnographic Case Study of Ab original and Torres Strait Islander Children. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 223-232.

Fitzgibbon, L. (1997). An investigation of literacy practices in home and schhol environments at the School of Nations in Macau. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Langley, W. E. (1997). "Children, Moral Development, and Global Transformation." World Order 28(3): 13-24.

 

Women


Bahá'í International Community (1997). The Role of Religion in Promoting the Advancement of Women. The Bahá'í World 1995-96. Haifa, World Centre Publications. 285-288.

Barber, C. (1997). "The Role of Indigenous Women in a Global Society." Herald of the South 47: 22-23.

Blanks, D. (1997). "The Angel of Ha'apai." Herald of the South 47: 8-9. (Story of Ona Koppe, Tonga)

Elias, M. (1997). Indigenous Women and Labour Standards in Papua New Guinea. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 249-257.

Ellis, W. (1997). Women Peacemakers Reformers Leaders. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia.

Khan, Janet, & Peter Khan, (1998) Advancement of Women: A Bah« 'Í Perspective, Wilmette: Bah« 'Í Publishing Trust.

Ma'ani, B. R. (1997). "The Effect of Philosophical and Linguistic Gender Biases on the Degradation of Women's Status in Religion." Journal of Bahá'í Studies 8(1): 45-68.

Moani, H. (1997). Women and the New Zealand Bahá'í Community. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Stogre-Power, D. (1997). "The Changing Role of Women." Herald of the South 47: 18-20.

Governance


Bahá'í International Community (1997). Turning Point for All Nations. The Bahá'í World 1995-96. Haifa, World Centre Publications. 241-284.

Curtotti, M. (1997). The Bahá'í Contribution to Society: An overview of the Bahá'í External Affairs Strategy. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Hassall, G. (1997). A note on the challenges of contemporary governance. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.

Heller, W. M. (1997). Covenant and the Foundations of Civil Society. The Bahá'í World 1995-96. Haifa, World Centre Publications. 185-221.

Nelson, D. (1997). Rethinking Justice. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia.

Nicholson, G. (1997). 'To summon the Nations': Russia and the Hague Peace Conferences. From Poverty to Prosperity: Proceedings from the 1996 National Conference of the Association for Bahá'í Studies Australia. Rosebery, Association for Bahá'í Studies.


Human Rights

Bahá'í International Community (1997). Human Rights Education. The Bahá'í World 1995-96. Haifa, World Centre Publications. 295-308.

Bahá'í International Community (1997). The Realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Bahá'í World 1995-96. Haifa, World Centre Publications. 289-294.

Collins, W. P. (1997). "Freedom of Religion in the U.S. Bill of Rights: A Bahá'í Perspective." World Order 28(3): 25-32.

Moss, I. (1997). Political Rights of Indigenous Australians. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 133-141.

Nicolson, G. (1997). Aboriginal Customary Rights: The Challenge to Bahá'í Australia. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 73-87.

Puri, K. (1997). Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 115-132.

Sanaei, F. (1997). The Elimination of Racism: An Essential Prerequisite for the Progress of Humanity. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 35-46.

Stephenson, M. (1997). Implications of the Mabo Case for Indigenous People. Indigenous Peoples: in the Wake of Mabo. Mona Vale, Bahá'í Publications Australia. 175-192.

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