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TAGS: Bahaullah, Writings of; Christianity; Interfaith dialogue; Lawh-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Tablet); Lawh-i-Pap (Tablet to Pope Pius IX); Tablets of Bahaullah revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas; Tablets to Kings and rulers; Teaching
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How Bahá'u'lláh prepared his message to attract Christians; poetic and rhetorical devices he used in declaring his mission to them; themes of Tablets to the Kings, Tablet to the Pope, and Lawh-i-Aqdas.

How Bahá'u'lláh Taught Christians:
The Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Bahá'u'lláh's Writings to Followers of Jesus Christ

by Ted Brownstein

Abstract: In order to create a real unity among the followers of the world's religions, the message of Bahá'u'lláh had to go beyond verbal affirmations of unity. Members of those religions would have to hear and accept the station of Bahá'u'lláh. Christianity, as the world's largest and most wide-spread religion, could not be ignored.

How did Bahá'u'lláh present His message, so at to attract Christians? How did He go about declaring His station? How direct and explicit were the proclamations? How was His audience prepared? What appeals were made to heart, mind and conscience? What proofs did He marshal? In what order where the proofs presented? What poetic or rhetorical devises were employed? How was the presentation shaped to effectively persuade and win converts to His Cause?

This paper will look at several of Bahá'u'lláh's writings to Christian audiences in order to address these questions. Of particular value are the Tablets to the Kings, especially the Tablet to the Pope, as well as Lawh-i-Aqdas (the Tablet to the Christians). The Tablets to the Kings constitute a special case, in that they are specifically addressed powerful rulers, rather than Christians in general. Nevertheless, it will be argued that these Tablets are really a type of open letter, and that Bahá'u'lláh intended to use the Tablets to the Kings as a vehicle to speak to larger Christian audiences.

In addition to its historical and academic value, it is hoped that this study will have practical value for teachers of the Bahá'í Faith. A detailed examination of Bahá'u'lláh's teaching methods should provide important guidance as to how the message of Bahá'u'lláh can best be presented to Christians today.

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