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On the ideological basis of progressive revelation, views of Baha'u'llah and his followers on the nature of a prophet, and the mission of great prophets.
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Doctrine of Progressive Revelation in the Baha'i Faith

by Daniil V. Pivovarov

published in Journal of Siberian Federal University, 4:1, pages 50-59

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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2011 4) 50-59

УДК 29-12 + 29-31

Baha'I Faith: the Doctrine of Progressive Revelation

Daniil V. Pivovarov*

Ural State University, 51 Lenin st., Ekaterinburg, 620083 Russia 1

The ideological basis of Bahai Faith - the doctrine of progressive revelation - is discussed in this article. Views ofBahá'u'lláh and his followers on the nature of a prophet, the mission of great prophets, essence of the next New Era and on association of mankind into the uniform subject are described.

Keywords: Bahai Faith, progressive revelation, nature of prophecy, sociohistorical communities, unity of mankind, auxiliary international language, world administration.

The phenomenon of mutual reflection of national cultures and global civilizations became especially appreciable after 1844. Traditional cultures of the East are mainly based on ideals of Buddhism and Islam. Their features - refusal from vigorous experiments with the nature and with public foundations, contemplation and self-absorption. On the contrary, Christian subcultures in Europe and the USA are focused on risk, experiment, technical power and knowledge of the material world. Scientific and technical progress in Europe and America has caused not only material welfare, but also terrible irrational effects - world wars, ecological crisis, moral degradation. From here follows the steadfast interest of western ideologists to eastern ways of survival - the interest of the West to the East. On the other hand, the need to overcome scientific and technical backwardness became essential for the countries of the East. The East and the West as never earlier meet each other.

Threat of self-destruction of mankind because of costs of technical progress forces Europeans and Americans to be interested in values of Buddhism and Islam, and the need in technical progress accompanies with intensive penetration of Christianity into eastern countries. Especially active interosculations of ideals of Christianity, Islam and Buddhism and occurrence of gens of new world religions, which actively propagandize ideas of nonviolence, have begun with the middle of XIX century of peaceful co-existence of world outlook alternatives and intelligent dialogue between civilizations, science and religion, religious faiths, philosophical schools. Among such «synthetic» religions there is especially allocated the youngest world religion Bahai Faith, which has more than 6 million followers today 1.

Bahai Faith has arisen in 1844 in Iran as a result of audit of Muslim dogma, but now it not less considerably differs from Islam, than, say,

* Corresponding author E-mail address:

1 © Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved

Christianity from Judaism. Bahai communities have arisen in Russia in XIX century (in Ashkhabad), and the imperial administration patronized them. The bahai's forerunner was Bab (the arab. Bab = gate) - Mirza Ali Mohammad (1819-1850), who lived in Shiraz and who has proclaimed in 1844 fast occurrence of a new envoy of God, the name to whom will be Bahá'u'lláh, i.e. Shine of God. The sermon of Bab and his Scriptus «Bayan» have caused mass babid movement in Iran per 1848-1852.

Mirza Hussein Ali Nuri (1817-1892) who has declared himself in 1863 in Bagdad «That Who Shows God» and accepted the name Bahá'u'lláh, occured as the crow flies from ancient imperial surnames of Persia; his father was the shah's vizier. An outstanding career was designated to him, but he has prefered to become a follower of Bab. Soon he has been grinded in prison and subjected to tortures. Bahá'u'lláh was justified by the Persian court (owing to intervention of the Russian ambassador) and released from his dungeon. Bahá'u'lláh refused to receive Russian citizenship, which Russian tsar Alexander II offered to him. He has preferred the exile, together with his family, to Baghdad. Then he has been sent to Constantinople, Adrianople and, at last, to Acca. From Adrianople, and later from Acca he has addressed with a number of messages to governors of different states, called them to establish a universal peace and proclaimed the future association of mankind.

Before his death Bahá'u'lláh has transferred reins of spiritual management in Baha i community to his senior son Abbas Effendi (1844-1921) who has accepted a new name Abdu'l-Bahá (servant of Baha). After clearing from the exile in 1908 Abdul-Baha has gone to travel across the Europe and America (1911-1913). There he widely popularized doctrine of Bahá'u'lláh about the world unity and social justice. The organizational and territorial base of this new religion has become

stronger during Abdul-Baha's leadership. Before his death Abdul-Baha has appointed his senior grandson, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani (1897-1957), the interpreter of the sacred texts and the Keeper of Bahai Faith. Service of Shoghi Effendi proceeded 36 years, down to his death. He has translated into English and has interpreted much from written by Bahá'u'lláh and Abdu'l-Bahá, promoted a wide circulation of their views and transformation of bahaism into independent world religion.

Primary a Bahais organization exists as: 1) a local spiritual assembly (not less than nine believers); 2) at a national level - a national spiritual assembly; 3) the highest authority - the Universal House of Justice. Gardens are broken on slopes of mountain Karmel and the complex of Bahais World Center is created nowadays in Haifa. Bahais World community has seven houses of worship (temples), and even one temple is erected on each continent.

Bahais trust, that Bahá'u'lláh was the continuer of nice affairs of the great prophets -Abraham, Krishna, Zoroastr, Moses, Buddha, Christ, Mohammad - and that his main mission consists in the notice of people on inevitability of process of consolidation of the mankind into the uniform subject. According to Bahai theology, coming of each true prophet is a periodic event occuring once in some hundreds of years, and it similar to space cycles, studied by astronomers. A kernel of a religious system - its founder, on behalf of God declaring a new sense of the future condition of mankind. After rise of a prophet his early community starts to embody a definite doctrine in a sacral Scriptus. National or world culture develops from religious principles of this or that Scripture (or from a Sacred Tradition) and lasts centuries and in the millenia.

Baha is consider, that each God s envoy adds a special component to the general formula of rescue of mankind and specifies it.

So, Buddha, speaking about individual rescue by own forces, specified eight ways of disposal of fatal desires. Jesus Christ has strengthened idea of rescue «through another man» principles of sincerity (openness) and love (harmony of the opposite beginnings). Mohammad has paid a special attention of mutual aid, to traditions, peaceful co-existence and has transferred accent on collective, «national» rescue. Bahá'u'lláh has united these principles as the whole on the basis of the requirement of joint rescue of people in structure of mankind and has put forward a principle «to love another more, than yourself».

Bahá'u'lláh has declared, that since 1844 and within the next ten centuries will last the special «New Era» - the era of consolidation of all people of our planet in the uniform world community. His doctrine is called the doctrine of progressive revelation, and the prophet has stated it in one hundred books among which are especially important «The Kitab-i-Aqdas»(The Most Holy Book) and «The Kitab-i-Iqan» (The Book of Certitude). The doctrine about progressive revelation is concretized in set of compositions of Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi. Further let us try to shift an essence of this dogma briefly.

The idea of Bahá'u'lláh about the dual nature of every real prophet is methodologically important. For all true religions «God is one», nevertheless people are compelled to profess different beliefs about God. In effect, all original religions receive «beams» from a uniform Source, but differ with specific interpretation of this Source. Somewhat truly, that all religions are just the same «Religion» (ecumenists usually emphasize this aspect), however it is necessary to keep and esteem carefully as relative truths such religious forms as Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, etc. Each original prophet spoke about himself as about a usual terrestrial person and, simultaneously,

as about an Epiphany - for God speaks through prophets.

In «The Book of Certitude» Bahá'u'lláh writes about God's prophets: «As these birds of the Divine Throne are granted from the sky at the Divine Will and born for declaration of His staunch Belief. All of them can be considered as the same shower and the person. For all of them drink from a uniform bowl of Divine Love and taste a fruit from the same Tree of Unity. These Developers of God possess two sides. In one attitude each of them is a pure abstraction and unity in essence; you will not depart from truth if all of them to name the same name and to attribute them the same properties <...> The second side - their distinction. In this plan every Developer of God is absolutely individual, at everyone the unique mission, everyone is known under his own name <.> If Full Developers will say: «Truly I am the God», - this is truth and no doubt; for it was repeatedly proved, that through their Phenomena, Properties and Names there is a display, on the ground, of God's Property and God's Name». So, prophets differ with human appearance, but their divine essence is identical. All of them have the same internal essence - to be the GodMan, however circumstances of their corporal birth are different.

In each religion there are two opposite tendencies according to intrinsic and phenomenal sides of a prophet. The first - recognition of origin of your religion from the same uniform Source from which also rise other religions. This tendency demands from supporters of one faith the respectful attitude to adherents of different faith. The second tendency is interfaced to need to protect uniqueness of own religious canon and to oppose its canons of alien religions, to differentiate faiths on «true» and «false». The border of an openness of one religion depends on a degree of display of the second tendency concerning to another. These extreme measures

are not groundless, caused by the dual nature of any religion and give religious outlook a special dramatic nature. They are not to be subjected to unconditional condemnation and eradication. Wise investigation and understanding such extrema is much better.

Both specified tendencies are objectively important for evolution of each religion and for preservation of its unique kernel. Reassessment of the importance of own way to God conducts to fanaticism, sectarianism, illusion about the superiority of «my» religion above «another's»; there are disputes, whose is God true, and whose -only an idol. On the contrary, absolutization of identity of religions is responsible for a non-church ecumenism and religious divergence. Skill to find out harmony of these two opposite tendencies, peculiar to the moderate part of clergy and flock, is the guarantor of peaceful coexistence and mutual enrichment of all religions and cultures, observance of a principle of freedom of worship and easing polarization inside confessions.

The reason of ascention of forms of historical generality of people on a higher level is seen (in the doctrine of progressive revelation) in events of coming of God's envoys. Steps of progress of mankind and an epoch of updating of sense of the future centuries are in direct causal dependence on turns of prophets. For example, it is possible to assume, that Abraham had given a spiritual impulse to a breeding (tribal) unity, and Mohammad stood at sources of a national structure. Former envoys of God serially pawned preconditions for transformation of the world split into set of clashing regions, in uniform «metacountry». Step by step communities of people were as though translated from initial classes in which train in mutual coexistence and dialogue, in the senior classes - down to an adult's condition. Now, in New Era, it is necessary to synthesize so organically spiritual and material in persons that became possible

mass, instead of elite, international management through general meetings of ordinary people with each other.

The sacred law of the future world hostel will be expressed, on Bahá'u'lláh, in a dialectic principle «distinctions in identity», assuming harmonious coexistence and evolution of all developed cultures. If there are more freely unique features of various languages and cultures, then the richer a spiritual genofund of mankind develops and there are more creative events in peace contacts among persons, religions and cultures. What was fine color of a life, if it is only one - it is always color of totalitarianism and utter darkness.

As Bahais consider, it is necessary to recognize following principles for achievement of unity of mankind: 1) refusal of any prejudices; 2) maintenance of full equality of the rights of men and women; 3) comprehension of unity and relative character of religious truth; 4) elimination of extreme displays of poverty and richness; 5) maintenance of general education; 6) duty of everyone to search truth independently; 7) creation of the world federation; 8) recognition of that the true religion is in harmony with mind and scientific search.

Founders of Bahai Faith see main preconditions of becoming of uniform mankind and universal culture as independent integrity (alongside with kept national cultures) in the four future events-processes:

1) integration sociohistorical communities of people down to occurrence of the incorporated mankind;

2) fast progress of means of the communications;

3) creation of an auxiliary international language;

4) formation and strengthening of the world administration coordinating actions of the national governments.

1. Integration of sociohistorical communities. Bahais trust, that God has started historical forces which destroy the traditional barriers dividing people on different races and beliefs. During the end of association of ancient people into primitive generic units the opportunity of a survival of families essentially amplified: chances on mutual destruction of families were decreased, interfamily conflicts were weakened. A generic unit resisted interfamily conflicts with a help of sacral traditions and interdictions. During those old times love to a native generic community was above, than love to own family. Transition of a society from patrimonial building to higher - breeding, and after to people - the organizations considerably reduced probability of interpatrimonial contentions and wars inside of a uniform tribe or people. At last, for today nation is the highest of the forms of socially-organic integrity of people reached by mankind. Nation does unite force of patriotism in a single whole. The feeling of social love, which is pulling together set of differing people and groups in a more and more increasing whole, historically became complicated, increased from love to own family up to love to own nation. Nowadays national patriotism almost everywhere and with the sufficient basis is estimated as such relic, on which the sovereignty of any state is based.

As soon as mankind grew by a consecutive investment of simple forms of the spiritual and material unity in more and more complex communities (from family through genos, tribe and people to nation), the character of such ascension, on Bahá'u'lláh, is valid as the objective divine law. The maximal form of human unity in comparison with all former communities -the uniform mankind, and it is inevitable. During centuries of New Era this form will be the complete subject in the attitude to God and space. On the foreground in outlook, the personal

force of love to mankind as a whole will be put forward. This love in any way does not cancel love of an individual to his family, people, nation; it is built on above all historically more ancient forms of social love and in due course becomes the most sacred universal feeling. Inside of mankind incorporated in a bouquet of people and the nations, freedom and safety of citizens and the states will increase, borders will open, threat of global and regional collisions will sharply decrease; mankind will turn to one family, and a planet - into one country.

Disorder of former social structures forces many people to aspire to creation of more advanced integrity inside of which former structures will turn to considerably transformed subsystems of new totality, harmonizing each other. For example, arising from bloody-related brotherhood, through Buddhist, Christian and Muslim brotherhoods, a brotherhood of people all grows up to universal «all human beings are brothers». Such prospect follows from historical experience of earthmen, expresses one of objective world tendencies -aspiration of people to tolerance, - resisting to not less strong alternative tendency to intolerance. Hence, such prospect is not cleanly ideological fiction.

The doctrine of progressive revelation speaks about possibility of unity of all nations, races, languages and cultures in structure of a reuniting mankind, but it does not speak about their merge and dissolution without the rest in some international mass, which suppresses love to a family, genos, tribe, people and native language. On the contrary, the principle «distinctions in identity» assumes such desirable maximum unity of mankind inside of which flowers of all unique cultures grow, and citizens of any country can use their fruits where and in what conditions they lived. In this sense the future world is seen as the uniform country inside of which to each person the right freely to move to all to parts of the world

is given, and they may choose religion adequating their soul and national culture.

Now people in the majority have not grown yet, spiritually and financially, to skill to choose a sociocultural form of individual life adequate to their essence and mentality. More often they do not have sufficient conditions for a choice of the desirable nationality, the suitable language, attractive religion and culture. In what place to live and in what ethnic language to think is not yet a question of their free choice, but is a question of their casual birthplace and the compelled submission to local traditions and interdictions. That is why there are dissidents inside of national cultures and internal protests against specific values, totally imposed, are inevitable.

At the same time this violent stay of people-cells in severe constraints of national organisms is historically justified by laws of a survival and blossoming of each separate culture. Features of ethnic culture demand for the basic display «a critical weight» of identically thinking people, so that is necessary and enough of the people keeping each other within the limits of the same sociocultural whole. When all variety of cultures will ripen and for maintenance of each culture the superfluous number of adherents will be enough, then there will come time of collecting of all cultures in a uniform multi-colour bouquet. In only case when there will be unprecedented opportunities for a free choice individuals own sociocultural essence, and rigid borders between the national states protected by armies will disappear. And then each human being will found out, that, he is similar to a mine with diamonds, conceals in itself an inexhaustible loose of treasures which true value is unknown even to its owner, not speaking about associates. The purpose of human life - to use these riches as personally for itself, and for the good of mankind.

Today the problem of universal values is a subject of sharp ideological discussions. The opposing parties, as a rule, oppose non-dialectically with two theses:

1) universal ideals always predominated over the organization of a public life by virtue of that homo sapiens is the uniform socially-biological whole, and base principles of all religions and cultures, adjusting ethnic communications, are the same in essence;

2) national-ethnic always gets the best above universal: all history of mankind testifies that human life is organized in the form of ethnoses incessantly struggling with each other; there is no universal language, any thinking and any culture are based on national languages.

It is possible to prove both of the thesis convincingly enough specially picked up examples, and in their collision they seem eternally unsoluble dilemma. However the dilemma is somewhat removed, when we start to interpret it in the view of the doctrine of progressive revelation and through the picture of step ascention of a sociohistorical generality of people from family up to the nation and, at last, up to the incorporated mankind.

2. About revolution in means of mass communications. The second major precondition of gradually standing apart universal culture is unprecedented rate of development of means of a mass communication, predicted by Bahá'u'lláh. After 1844 there is, in abundance, an unprecedented technics: telegraph, rotator, transatlantic cable, typewriter, phone, gas engine, car, linotype, photo, diesel engine, cinema, airplane, radio, TV, satellite, laser, computer, Internet - all these technical inventions have closely pull together between itself the countries and continents, have made the nations and their cultures closely interdependent. At all desire any people any more will not manage to become isolated behind «Iron Curtain» in the frontiers.

As we see, to the beginning of XXI century there was a technical-tool precondition of association of mankind.

3. Need for the auxiliary international language. According to the Bible once, till the moment of erection of the Babel tower, all Adam's descendants communicated on a uniform and true parent language. Then God had punished them for their arrogance and forced to express in different languages. So the Scripture explains the fact of existence of many ethnic languages. Whether to be for ever doomed mankind divided by language barriers? Some Christian thinkers, for struggle against language chauvinism and improvements of mutual understanding between people, suggested to think up any general artificial language - in addition to already existing ethnic languages - on which all people of our planet could communicate (Newton, Descartes, Leibnits, etc.). Johnathan Swift was rather ironic on this account. He derided in his book «Gulliver's Travel» scientists from Laputa (the country thought up by him), which communicated by means of language of things; that is why these men have been compelled to drag with themselves huge backpacks with suitable things.

Bahá'u'lláh wrote in his messages from Acca to some leaders of empires and countries, that it is necessary to design, in addition to a set of natural ethnic languages, the uniform auxiliary language for association of mankind within the New Era. The appeal of the Persian prophet has been heard by many. So, in 1887 L. Zamengof, a baha i from Poland, has created one auxiliary language - esperanto - on the basis of the Latin alphabet, and since then hundred thousands esperantists express themselves in it

The teachers of Bahai Faith predict, that some kind of «dialectic denying of denying» will occur in the coming millennium: uniform language will be restored by linguistic synthesis in a new quality, supplementing polylanguism. This

language is planned to be created gradually from fragments of all, without exception, practised languages, and any of them does not need to be given preferences. Probably, it will appear as a monosemic, emotionally neutral artificial language with a simple grammar, and the most successful sounds, syllables and the word-combinations inherent in all nowadays practised national languages will be synthesized in it. Not reduced neither to the latin basis, nor to cyrillics, or to one of the east languages the planned auxiliary language will borrow something important at each of them.

The computer development of main principles of the required language has begun already with the end of XX century, though it is still far up to the general agreement on its grammar and the base dictionary. What will this language be -to be solved by commissions of experts and all people. If such language will arise sometime, it, possibly, will not have limits of perfection, begins to be studied at all schools of the world by each person together with native, national, language. Then, in the future, people of all countries will be trained two languages at once from children's age. The internal social unity of mankind and the world on the Earth, probably, become norm with gradual overcoming a problem of linguistic mutual understanding (it will be possible to communicate with any foreigner directly, without a translator) So, apparently, gradually there is a special linguistic precondition for transformation of mankind into the uniform subject.

4. Need of mankind in the world administration. According to the doctrine of progressive revelation, creation of the world government is one of the essential precondition of universal culture. In 1912 Abdul-Baha, during his tour across the USA, has suggested to create such operating international body and place it in New York. And, as it is known, the organization of United Nations is located there today. World

problems and regulation of interethnic relations - a subject of the future world administration selected by all states. By virtue of and in a process of opening borders between the states each citizen will be free to choose a place of the residing, religion, culture and a nationality adequating to his conscience and spirit. The principle of unity of any distinctions in people resists to extreme measures of cosmopolitism and nationalism, ecumenism and ideas of exclusiveness of any «selected» religion. It is necessary to search for «golden mean» between these extreme measures. The new world administrative order arises through overcoming of sharp social contradictions between empires and colonies, national states, world religions, a person and a society, traditions and new growths.

From the end of XIX century the mankind began to change character of the communications considerably. The world congresses, devoted to the rights of women, general education, prohibition of childish labour, clearing of slaves and colonies, creation of the world administrative bodies have begun. The Hague conferences (with 1919) have turned to League of the nations which then became UN. The United Nations nowadays cost, probably, on a threshold of radical restructuring in a more effective instrument to control world social process. The world prepares for the new birth - the new spiritual and material communication fastening mankind together is born. Process of reunion of the patrimonial person with the parts - ethnoses, which have separated in due time, will borrow not years and not decades, but will demand many centuries.

Bahais constantly emphasize vital importance of growth of the spiritual beginning in association of mankind because: 1) without a progress of spirit there will be no tolerance to heterodoxy and, hence, there will be no strong and durable association of mankind; 2) transformation of the lowest type of unity into

higher gives not only more freedom for persons, families, tribes and nations, but also threatens to suppress all parts of the social whole by means of authority of the operating world center, which may be removed from simple people and national formations.

There is a threat, that the world bureaucracy, once having developed, will subordinate to itself all alive on the Earth, and a «person-screw» will have no place to be covered from it (unless on other planet). The formal opportunity of a similar condition of mankind disturbs minds of futurologists and scientific visionaries. Originally free will of all earthmen is necessary at reelections of heads and the decision of the major questions for avoidance of danger of usurpation of authority by world administration and also of threat of totalitarianism in the world scale. The long and not palatable, but the curative period of transformation of all existing political and social attitudes inside of each country and between the states is necessary. National-liberation movements, nationalism and patriotism are everywhere to grow; empires and violently incorporated social conglomerates will disappear.

The scientifically verified conclusion follows from the doctrine of Bahá'u'lláh that movement of mankind to higher integrity, borrowing some centuries, every time is accompanied by strengthening of sufferings and the crisis phenomena. Process of breakage of the become numb institutes by all means generates counteraction from these institutes, their hostile reaction directed on restoration of an old condition, including imperial. It causes growth of intensity in a society, aggression in relations between people to that we are involuntary witnesses and participants today - for example, in connection with disintegration of the USSR (by the way, Bahá'u'lláh has predicted in the letter to emperor Alexander II, that crash of Russian empire will occur in the end of XX century).

Therefore present growth of nationalism and patriotism is natural, expedient and inevitable. Everywhere, and including in distressful Russia, national-liberation movements become stronger. One people goes against another. Everywhere xenophobia, nationalism and patriotism amplifies.

Bahá'ís speak: in order to be united strongly, it is necessary, at first, to become a sovereign, independent subject, to reveal the spiritual and material abilities and to become attractive for other people. This strategic purpose is pursued implicitly with national-liberation movement which, at the same time, is inevitably accompanied by the tendency of national intolerance, religious extremism and so forth. Those, who see only horrifying costs of this grandiose process and do not understand its latent historical purpose, are compelled to regard growth of nationalism and patriotism only as destruction of a society and coming of antiChrist in the world. The saving output it sees in cosmopolitism. On the contrary, those who see an ultimate goal of history of mankind only in preservation of each nation, fastening to each nation of own sovereign territory and exile from it any foreign spirit, are guided by national patriotism as a limiting and certainly valuable principle of a public life.

Whether fondly to repeat a developing ideal of love to all mankind when compatriots are inclined to see enemies in peoples - neighbours and in general everywhere? Chesterton has somehow noticed, that «when somebody speaks about mankind, passengers in the overflown underground are represented me; it is surprising, how souls are far when bodies are so close». It is easy for me to love members of my family, but it is difficult to grow fond of people of other nationality, and furthermore mankind as a whole. The border dividing neighbours, conceals in itself danger of enmity between them, serves as the reason of mutual insults. The conflict usually begins in the environment near. All countries

arose and changed the borders during struggle against neighbours. The most severe wars, as a rule, flash between the adjacent states.

Mass sufferings because of the imperfection of a life, caused by split of mankind on nations, give rise to general need for reunion of mankind and improvement of activity of the international organizations. Achievement of the higher level of unity of people demands the increase of understanding of individual imperfection and aspiration to overcome it through cooperation with heterodoxes. The more deeply and more widely the unity of differing people, the greater role spiritual attraction is truly played in it.

The whole epoch and many centuries of alteration of existing system of social attitudes is required in order to come to the higher type of unity of mankind, which reduces probability of wars. This epoch is not palatable, but curative. There will be a transformation of present forms of social unity and resubordination them to their world social communications within future centuries. Traditional communications will gradually cease to play the leading part and will be updated in the subordinated status. Process will proceed before full self-determination of any as much as small social generality of people while this generality will not feel enough free for decision, making on mutually advantageous cooperation with other not less free associations of people. According to Bahai Faith, the more social freedom within the New Era all tribes and nations will achieve, the quicker there will be their voluntary association - the regional in the beginning, then continental and international at last.

Predictions of Bahá'u'lláh, which has laid down in the basis of the new political thinking in the second half of XX century, partially prove to be true. Change of national reference points on universal is already appreciable in a number of the modern social phenomena and

in the future, it is possible, becomes obvious in many other aspects. For example, all agree today that universal is above national in the technics, natural sciences, mathematics, sports. But the national-ethnic beginning predominates in other spheres of a national life (for example, in family-household, religions, ideologies). National values test an escalating competition to universal cultural norms and ideals. Ideals of the future cosmopolitan culture appear gradually, and these ideals are recognized by all people. It is important to emphasize, that the such unusual culture will be capable to develop within the next centuries only on the basis of pluralism of prospering tribal and national cultures.

So, we have discussed several general contours of the doctrine of Bahá'u'lláh and its

successors about conditions of becoming of mankind as uniform subject and strengthening of the universal tendency of an attraction (toleration), which would begin capable to counterbalance the universal tendency of pushing away (intolerance). Undoubtedly, this doctrine includes some utopian moments. But, as academician A. A. Guseinov proves, Utopias are extremely necessary for mankind: «In the world in which there is no Utopia, there is no place for philosophy. The philosophy which cannot offer a worthy Utopia, appears fruitless»2. Summarizing Bahá'u'lláh's doctrine about progressive revelation, it is possible to estimate highly a passionate appeal containing in it to transform mankind into the uniform subject and to strengthen the world tendency of nonviolence.


1. See: Bahâ'u'llâh. The Kitab-i-Aqdas. Haifa: The Universal House of Justice. 1992; Bâhâ'u'llâh. Kitab-i-iqan. Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 2003; Abdu'l-Bahâ. Some Answered Questions (Russian). Sankt-Peterburg, 1993; Effendi Shoghi. God Passes By. Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust,1944; Hatcher, W.S., Martin, J.D. The Bahâ'i Faith: The Emerging Global Religion. Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1998; Johanisyan J.A. Bahá'í Faith. Sankt-Peterburg: Azbuka-Classica, 2003.

2. Guseinov A. A. Philosophy as Utopia for Culture (Russian). Moscow: Vestnik of Russian Philosophical Society. 2007. № 4. P. 42.

Вера Бахаи: учение о прогрессивном откровении

Д.В. Пивоваров

Уральский государственный университет Россия 620083, Екатеринбург, пр. Ленина, 51

В статье обсуждается идейное основание религии Бахаи - учение о прогрессивном откровении. Описываются воззрения Бахауллы и его последователей на природу пророка, миссию великих пророков, сущность грядущей Новой Эры и на объединение человечества в единый субъект.

Ключевые слова: Вера Бахаи, прогрессивное откровение, природа пророчества, социально-исторические общности, единство человечества, вспомогательный международный язык, всемирная администрация.

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