Re: On the other hand, there's this from Juan Cole...

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Posted by Rob on July 09, 2101 at 03:19:43:

In Reply to: On the other hand, there's this from Juan Cole... posted by Dawud on July 08, 2101 at 02:52:01:

Yes, it is fairly common knowledge among those who have looked into the Dawnbreakers that Nabil placed a lot of so-called miraculuous events into it which he had gathered from second-hand and third-hand eye-witnesses (hardly what academia would consider historical accounts) and that Shoghi Effendi decided to purge the edited English translation of most of those events in favor of the far more believable account we have today. I recall hearing in from archives and library staff in Haifa about the original Dawnbreakers which they had reviewed, and all agreed was unsuitable for most Western audiences and riddled with Nabil's non-academic coloring with the supernatural from superstitious early believers who, on not a few occations, were wont to stretch fact into fantasy. I suspect that it could be likened to listening to some current day Baha'is' I've heard who go on and on about this or that miracle they've heard about in the lives of some believers, when in fact, after closer examination, much of what is shared is third and fourth-hand information, much altered, with little evidence it is true.

One of those who reviewed Nabil's Narrative was a Baha'i World Center Archivist who has since written a dissertation on folklore in the Faith as a way to reveal this aspect of reigious community which forms within every religious group to some degree. Within the Baha'i community, though, there is no offical sanction from it's Administrative Order of such unprovable tales; thus we have no miraculuously appearing Bahaiyyih Khanum or 'Abdu'l-Baha as, for example, we find among some Catholics with the often miraculuous appearance of the Virgin Mary. There is, instead a tendency in most cases for the Administrative Order to down-play the miracles that some individuals may claim, unless, of course, they are confirmed in the actual text of the Baha'i Writings, in which case they are confirmed.

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