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Search for tag "Alexander Tumansky"

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1892. 29 Sep Russian Orientalist, Baron Viktor Romanovich Rosen (1849–1908), at a meeting of the Oriental Section of the Imperial Russian Archaeological Society in St. Petersburg, read a paper written by a junior colleague and former student, Aleksandr Grigor’evich Tumanski (1861–1920). He was a Russian soldier and orientalist who took a close interest in the Bahá'ís and spent some time in the Bahá'í community in Ashkhabad. He published the text and a translation of the Kitab-i-Aqdas as well as a number of papers.
  • In 1893 the author published this document in the original Persian, with Russian translation, together with a eulogy composed by the celebrated Bahá'í poet, Mírzá ‘Alí-Ashraf-i Laehíjání, known by his sobriquet, Andalíb (‘Nightingale’; d. 1920). Since ‘Andalíb was an eyewitness to the events he describes, his eulogy may be treated as a historical source. Tumanski’s scholarly publication of the Kitáb-i ‘Ahdí in the Proceedings of the Oriental Department of the Imperial Russian Archaeological Society. [The 1893 Russian Publication of Baha’u’llah’s Last Will and Testament: An Academic Attestation of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Successorship by Christopher Buck and Youli A. Ioannesyan; Baha’i Studies Review 19 (cover date, 2013; publication date, 2017)] iiiii
  • St Petersburg; Russia Baron Rosen; Alexander Tumansky; Andalib (poet)
    1892. 19 Dec Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani, at the request of Alexander Tumansky, wrote a treatise for him, Risáliy-i Iskandaríyyh. It was a major work which provided a brief summary of the life of Bahá’u’lláh, as well as unique information on the controversial Bábí histories Táríkh-i Jadíd and Naqtatu’l-Káf. There was the courageous defense of the Bahá’í Faith that Abú’l Fadl was able to publish in the Egyptian press, the first article of its kind. It has been published in Mírzá Abu'l-Faḍl; Letters and Essays 1886-1913 translated by Juan Ricardo Cole. Mirza Abul-Fadl; Alexander Tumansky; Tarikh-i Jadid
    1942 (The early 20th Century) Bahá'í Scholarship

    The publication in 1865 of the Comte de Gobineau’s (1816-1882),Les Religions et Les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale created an interest in Europe. A scholar that was inspired by Gobineau was E.G.Browne. He travelled to Iran and also visited Bahá’u’lláh in Akka in the latter days of His life. He translated two histories of the new religion and published two other books as well as a number of articles. He also made an important collection of manuscripts that he gave to Cambridge University Library. Bahá'ís have criticized Browne's work for being too sympathetic to Azal, Baha'u'llah's half-brother and implacable enemy. One of the books that Cobineau for Les Religions... was Násikhu't-Taváríkh (the 'history to abrogate all previous historiies') by Lisánu'l-Mulk. This book had been condemned by Bahá'u'lláh as a falsification of history one which even an infidel would not have had the effrontery to produce. [SUR36-37]      

    A.L.M. Nicolas (1864-1939) was a French consular official in Iran who researched and wrote a biography of the Báb as well as translating three of the Báb's major works into French.

         Just as the Báb was the centre of the scholarly interests of Gobineau, Browne and Nicolas, some Russian scholars who were more interested in Bahá'u'lláh. Baron Viktor Rosen (1849-1908), the director of the Oriental Department of the University of St. Petersburg was assisted by Aleksandr Tumanski (1861-1920). He spent a great deal of time with the Bahá'í community of Ashkhabad and with Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani. Although he did not write as much as Browne or Nicolas, what he did write was derived from a very deep and thorough investigation. [L&E43-83]

      See An Officer and an Orientalist: Alexander Grigorevich Tumanskii and His Contribution to Russian Historiography on and Policy towards the Babi-Baha’i Religion by Soli Shahvar, Bahá'í Studies Review 20 (1), 3-19

         There was much interest in scholarship in the early days of the Faith because almost all of the most important disciples of the Báb were Islamic religious scholars, as were many of the leading converts to the Bahá'í Faith in later years. The most important of these was the above mentioned Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani (1844-1914). He was learned in the Zoroastrian and Jewish scriptures and spent some time in the Christian West at the request of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá prior to His visit.

         During the 1930s to 1960s, a second generation of Iranian Bahá'í scholars, such as Fadil Mazandarani (1881-1957), 'Abdul-Hamid Ishraq-Khavari (1902-1972), and 'Azizu'llah Sulaymani (1901-1985) systematized Bahá'í theology and law, developed aids for scholars such as dictionaries of Bahá'í terminology, and wrote histories and biographies. This was of course a more traditional style of scholarship than is current in the West, but it continues to be useful to all present scholars.

         The above-described initial flurry of interest in the Bábí and Bahá'í religions in the West was not sustained and from the 1920s to the 1970s, there were no Western scholars who were as deeply engaged as the above-named ones and only a handful of studies that can be said to have done much to advance knowledge. From the 1970s onward, there gradually emerged a new stream of scholars who can be said to be a fusion of the above two groups, the Western and the Bahá'í scholars. This new generation of scholars mostly began as Bahá'ís, although some have subsequently left the religion. They use Western academic methodology and most operate from within Western universities but they have access to insider information and resources. Apart from these individuals, the Bahá'í Faith has been very little studied by Western scholars of religion.

         A word must also be said about what passes for scholarship on the Bahá'í Faith in Iran and to a lesser extent in the rest of the Middle East. Bahá'ís have been persecuted in many Middle Eastern countries and rejected by Islamic leaders, and one form of this discrimination has involved the manipulation of information. For most of the last 100 years, deliberately distorted or falsified information and documents have been created mostly by some within the Islamic religious establishment and then distributed as though these were facts about the Bahá'í Faith. Since the Bahá'ís have had no ability to respond to this material in the Middle East, these distortions have gradually become accepted in the Middle East as the truth. One example is the forged memoirs of Count Dolgorukov, the Russian ambassador to Iran in the 1840s to 1850s. This and other contradictions were so clearly spurious that even some Iranian scholars debunked them when they were first published in the 1940s. But despite this, they are often regularly cited by Middle Eastern writers up to the present day as though they are a reliable source for the history of the religion.

         Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, this manufacturing of disinformation and forged material has increased greatly with programs in the media, articles, and books appearing on a frequent basis, especially in the government-run media. The result is that there is almost nothing published in the Middle East that has reliable information about the Bahá'í Faith in it. A little of this sort of scholarship has also appeared in the West; some Christian missionaries, notably Reverend William McElwee Miller(1892-1993)(Also see WOB83) have written anti-Bahá'í material and ex-Bahá'ís have published academic work that is calculated to make the Bahá'í community resemble a cult as portrayed in the anti-cult campaigns that were carried out in the Western media in the 1980s. [The above was copied from the website Patheos and has been edited for brevity. It was contributed by Dr. Natalie Mobini]

  • See as well the publication of Der Bahā'ismus, Weltreligion der Zukunft?: Geschichte, Lehre und Organisation in Kritischer Anfrage (Bahá'ísm-Religion of the Future? History, Doctrine and Organization: A Critical Inquiry) by Francesco Ficicchia under the auspices of the Central Office of the Protestant Church for Questions of Ideology in Germany.
  • Bahai studies; Scholarship; Orientalism; Babism; Comte de Gobineau; Edward Granville Browne; A.L.M. Nicolas; Baron Rosen; Alexander Tumansky; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Mirza Asadullah Fadil-i-Mazandarani; Abdul-Hamid Ishraq-Khavari; Azizullah Sulaymani; Reverend William McElwee Miller; Francesco Ficicchia; Baron Viktor Rosen

    from the main catalogue

    1. 1893 Russian Publication of Baha'u'llah's Last Will and Testament, The: An Academic Attestation of 'Abdu'l-Baha's Successorship, by Christopher Buck and Youli A. Ioannesyan, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 19 (2017). On the content of the Kitab-i-Ahdi, its manuscript history, and textual variants; Andalib's eyewitness account of its unveiling; Tumanski's scholarly work; contemporary attestation of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's successorship by Tumanski and other Russian notables. [about]
    2. Ashgabat Collection, by Olga Mehti (2019). On the life and works of Alexander Tumansky and his involvement with Bahá'í history. [about]
    3. Development of the Babi/Bahá'í Communities, The: Exploring Baron Rosen's Archives, by Youli A. Ioannesyan (2013). 19th-century private letters and diplomatic correspondence from a prominent Russian scholar, one of the first to study the rise of the Babis. Excerpt from book: contents and Introduction. (Offsite.) [about]
    4. Encyclopaedia Iranica: Selected articles related to Persian culture, religion, philosophy and history, by Encyclopaedia Iranica, in Encyclopaedia Iranica (1982-2023). Sorted, categorized collection of links to over 170 articles. [about]
    5. Letters and Essays, 1886-1913, by Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani (1985). Treatises of "the greatest and most learned of all Bahá'í scholars" about Alexander Tumansky; on meeting Abdu'l-Bahá; and on the meaning of angels, resurrection, civilization, tests, angels, holy spirit, and the saying "Knowledge is twenty-seven letters." [about]
    6. Monsieur Nicolas - the French: Extracts from Tarikh-i Azarbeyijan, by Haji Mirza Haydar Ali Uskui (1950?). Exracts from an unpublished manuscript by the author of the "History of Faith in Azerbayijan" about A.L.M. Nicolas's background, his involvement with the local Bahá'í community in Azarbeyijan, and his links with Tomanski. [about]
    7. Posledneye Slovo Bekha-Ully [Baha'u'llah's Last Word], by Aleksandr Grigor’evich Tumanski, in Zapiski Vostochnago Otdeleniya Imperatorskago Russkago Arkheologicheskago Obshestva [Memoirs of the Oriental Branch of the Russian Archaeological Society], 7:6 (1892). Russian translation of, and commentary on, Bahá'u'lláh's "Kitab-i 'Ahdi" ("Book of My Covenant"). [about]
    8. St. Petersburg 19th Century Orientalist Collection of Materials on the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths, The: Primary and Other Sources, by Youli A. Ioannesyan, in Lights of Irfan, Volume 7 (2006). The important work of Russian scholars up to 1917 in collecting Bábí and Bahá’í materials; a detailed listing of available materials. [about]
    9. The Development of the Bábí/Bahá'í Communities: Exploring Baron Rosen's Archives, by Youli Ioannesyan: Review, by Christopher Buck, in Nova Religio, 18:4 (2015-05). [about]
    10. Toumansky, Aleksandr Grigorevich, by Jahangir Dorri, in Encyclopaedia Iranica (2009). Brief excerpt, with link to article offsite. [about]
     
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