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Abstract:
List of research topics suggested by Dr. Peter Khan to the Association for Bahá'í Studies (Australia).

Possible Topics for Research

by Peter J. Khan

published in Bahá'í Studies Review, 3:2
London: Association for Baha'i Studies English-Speaking Europe, 1993
(This list is far from complete, and is intended to be no more than an indication of the unlimited
scope for Bahá'ís to relate the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh to current knowledge in all academic disciplines.)

1. Political Science

  • Nature and functioning of the Bahá'í electoral process, without nominations or campaigning.
  • Use of an electoral college in a Bahá'í setting (i.e. our Convention delegates) contrasted to its ineffectiveness in other settings (e.g. U.S. Presidential elections).
  • The operation of Bahá'í safeguards against schism.
  • The Bahá'í concepts of Church-State relationships.
  • Comparison between the Bahá'í concepts of social administration and the traditional Aristotlean forms.
  • Utopianism and the Bahá'í approach to world order.
  • Mechanisms in Bahá'í systems for protecting the rights of non-Bahá'í minorities.
2. Anthropology/Sociology
  • Operation of the Bahá'í social pattern - decentralization, balance of powers, restrictions on nationalism, etc.
  • Analysis of Bahá'í consultation as a method of group decision-making.
  • The balance between individual freedom and social control in Bahá'í social order.
  • Bahá'í guidelines for enhancing the quality of life in a computerized society.
  • Implications of equality of the sexes on the structure of the family and decision-making, division of labour, etc.
  • A comparative study of the effect of the Bahá'í Faith on village society - comparison between a Bahá'í village and an otherwise-similar non-Bahá'í village.
  • Balance between uniformity and diversity in Bahá'í practice - a comparison over different cultures.
3. Psychology/Education
  • Bahá'í approach to fostering creativity within the confines of an organised religion.
  • A theory of motivation developed from the Bahá'í teachings.
  • Elements of a theory of personality incorporating the spiritual aspect of human nature.
  • Relationship between Bahá'í concepts and the present-day theories of counselling.
  • Psychological barriers to the expression of the equality of men and women.
  • Sources of male insecurity in present-day society and their resolution in the Bahá'í teachings.
  • Psychosomatic medicine and the Bahá'í concept of the spiritual component of healing.
  • Approaches to the training and discipline of children from a Bahá'í perspective.
4. Economics
  • Unique features of the Bahá'í approach to social and economic development.
  • Concept of taxation in the Bahá'í social order - balance between local and national revenue sources.
  • A Bahá'í approach to a welfare system.
  • A theory of remuneration derived from the Bahá'í social and economic principles.
  • The role of voluntary contributions in the development of altruism and of culture from a Bahá'í perspective.
  • A Bahá'í approach to the resolution of labour disputes.
5. Linguistics
  • Factors to be considered in the derivation of a universal auxiliary language.
  • Techniques of language translation using computers.
  • Common features of international languages having dialectic forms, e.g. Quechua, Melanesian Pidgin, Swahili.
6. English Literature
  • Correlation between themes of nineteenth century romanticism and the Bahá'í teachings.
  • The role of the poet as a harbinger of social change.
  • The transformation from static to dynamic world-models in English literature.
  • Evolution of Shoghi Effendi's literary style, and its influence from Gibbon, Carlyle and others.
7. Science/Philosophy
  • A theory of epistemology from a Bahá'í perspective.
  • A Bahá'í concept of the role of beauty in religion.
  • A phenomenological study of the process of revelation.
  • A Bahá'í approach to the relationship between religion and science.
  • Ethical and moral issues in genetic engineering - a Bahá'í approach.
  • Implications for religion of the possibility of life on other planets.
  • Thermodynamic entropy concepts from a Bahá'í perspective.
  • Relationship between the Bahá'í teachings and quantum-mechanical uncertainty.
  • The concept of time in the special theory of relativity in the light of the Bahá'í teachings.
  • The existence, definition and properties of an ether from a Bahá'í perspective.
  • Fundamental limits on artificial intelligence using computers, from a Bahá'í perspective.
  • Implications of Bahá'í cosmological concepts of the origin and evolution of the universe.
8. Law
  • A Bahá'í theory of the rehabilitation of criminals.
  • A Bahá'í perspective on the use of law and sanctions in social control.
  • The philosophical basis of law and morality from a Bahá'í perspective.
  • The judicial process in the Bahá'í social order.
9. History
  • Bahá'í perspectives on events of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries:
  • The collapse of the Caliphate.
  • The overthrow of European monarchies.
  • The evolutionary development of the principle of collective security.
  • The steps taken toward international government.
  • The concern for human rights.
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