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Survey of scholarship on the Bahá'í conception of apocalypse; God's eternal revelation by reflection in all created things; the apocalypse as inherent in the appearance of Manifestations; progressive nature of each Revelation and its "day of judgment."
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An Overview of Bahá'í Eschatology, in a Tapestry of Four Strands

by Bernardo Bortolin Kerr

Abstract: This paper represents an attempt to highlight and draw together four main threads in the Bahá'í conception of Apocalypse, or Revelation. It begins with a survey of some of the more notable examples of scholarship brought to my attention on the theme and goes on to introduce a selection of significant references to Apocalypse in the Bahá'í writings. The majority of the essay is then spent identifying and delineating the four strands I consider integral to an understanding of Bahá'í eschatology: God's eternal Revelation by means of His reflection, to varying degrees, in all created things; the Apocalypse inherent in the appearance to humanity of Manifestations of God (divine Messengers such as Christ, Muhammad and Bahá'u'lláh); the progressive nature of these appearances in the manner in which each new Revelation marks a Day of Judgement and a Day of Resurrection for those preceding it; the historical manifestation of Apocalypse. I conclude by tying these strands together in an exploration of the process by which God's eternal presence becomes manifested in the world.
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