western academia and interpretation

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Posted by saul levine on March 04, 2000 at 22:50:25:

In Reply to: Nice try posted by Dawu on March 03, 2000 at 22:37:46:

The Baha'i Faith is a religion without clerics and and so we don't have a set of self-appointed priests who try to interpret and act as middlemen/women between God and humans . We have our sacred writings and our institutions which were appointed by our prophet. So, on issues of interpretation, self-appointed individuals whether they are from Harvard or Saudi Arabia if they are baha'is do not have the authority of intepretation like our institutions. We do not worship academics and they don't any special privileges within the Baha'i Faith
and have to adhere to baha'i standards of belief in the authority of the Universal House of Justice, acceptance of Baha'u'llah as the prophet founder of the Baha'i Faith and be willing to work within the consultative process of the Baha'i Faith. They are free to leave the Baha'i Faith, it's part of their God given free agency. Unfortunetaly, the Baha'i Faith is not designed to cater to the whims of Westerner liberal academics, it is for the whole world and someone like me who considers himself to be an intellectual from the global south does not have any problem with these issues.

I At the same time, I don't have much of a problem with postings of unathorized translations as long they are certified to be authentic. In addition, I find Mr. Juan Cole book on the rise of the baha'i faith in the 19th century to be engrossing although there are a lot of western liberal cultural assumptions and
beliefs that color his views.
If you want to discuss this further, please email me at saul_levine@hotmail.com.

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