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Symbolic forms in the Writings and Baha'i architectural systems, and their analogues in universal religious symbolism. Includes Spanish translation, "Curso de simbología bahá ́í."
See further discussion in the author's Mount Carmel and the Hidden Name.
Written in English and Spanish.

Course on Bahá'í Symbolism

by Ernesto Fernandez

Abstract: An in-depth study of Bahá ́í symbolism is yet to be accomplished. The present course barely attempts to develop an elementary introduction to this topic. Here I will merely try to describe the symbolic forms in the sacred writings and the Bahá ́í architectural systems, and I will compare them to analogous forms in the universal religious symbolism. There are great similarities, but also great differences. For example the Bahá ́í lotus as a tree or a flower, which appears in texts and temples. Although it is similar to the Hindu lotus, there are some differences not easy to render in detail. Something similar can be found in the seven circles of Mount Carmel, a symbol shared with the Catholic Carmelites. This course will start with the system of Mount Carmel, which includes the Bahá ́í Sacred Geography. Lessons 2 and 3 will enhance the analysis of the discussed points.

Introducción: El estudio riguroso de la simbología bahá ́í está aún por iniciarse, este curso solo intenta una elemental aproximación al tema. Intentare aquí, meramente, una descripción de las formas simbólicas presentes en los escritos sagrados y los sistemas arquitectónicos bahá’ís y las compararé con formas semejantes en la simbología religiosa universal. Grandes son las similitudes, pero también las diferencias. Doy ejemplos: el Loto Bahá ́í, que como árbol o como flor aparece en textos y templos, tiene semejanza con el loto hinduista, pero también diferencias nada fáciles de precisar; lo mismo ocurre con los 7 círculos del monte Carmelo, símbolo que compartimos con los carmelitas católicos. El curso comenzará por el sistema del monte Carmelo que contiene la geografía sagrada bahá ́í. Las lecciones 2 y 3 ampliaran el análisis de los puntos tratados.

Chapter 1:
English:fernandez_course_bahai_symbolism_1.pdf [PDF, 1.5MB]
Espanol:fernandez_curso_simbologia_bahai_1.pdf [PDF, 2MB]
Chapter 2:
English:fernandez_course_bahai_symbolism_2.pdf [PDF, 1.2MB]
Espanol:fernandez_curso_simbologia_bahai_2.pdf [PDF, 1.6MB]

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