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TAGS: Anthropology; Babism; Bahai studies; Conversion; Cosmology; Millennialism; Shaykhism; Shiism; Sociology; Utopias and dystopias
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An outsider's view of the role of ideologies in a postmodern era, focusing on Bahá'í history, conversion narratives, ideology, and other competing philosophies. (Link to thesis, offsite.)
Dissertation defended for Rice University, September 2010, online at

See also an interview with the author from Observatorio para las Relaciones Internacionales.

Purchase this thesis in its later published version at, or see dissertation entry at

History, Transfiguration, Doxa

by Hutan Hejazi Martinez

Abstract: Forty years ago the West was asking itself whether the world would be communist or capitalist. After the fall of communism and the triumph of global capitalism some have indicated that we live in an era without ideologies. My dissertation explores a religion, Baha’ism, comprised of six million adherents worldwide, and attempts to show that ideologies continue to be part of our modern (or postmodern) era. To do this I use recent academic contributions, such as Webb Keane’s semiotic ideology, and its informed by the philosophic explorations on ideology and utopia made by Karl Mannheim, Paul Ricoeur, Pierre Bourdieu, Louis Althusser and Slavoj Žižek, among others. This dissertation explores this religion’s history, conversion narratives, Baha’i doxa, and other competing narratives.
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