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from the chronology

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1917 (in the year) A Bahá'í Reading Room was established in Chicago by Luella Kirchner in 1917 or perhaps earlier and became the scene of an incident that exemplified a stage of evolution in the North American Bahá'í community. Because communications with 'Abdu'l-Bahá had been severed due to the war, the community was free to develop as it might. The Reading Room had become host to the "Harmonite Bahá'ís" - those who subscribed to the metaphysical interpretations of the Bahá'í Writings by W. W. Harmon.
      The situation came to a head when both the House of Spirituality and the Reading Room sent delegates to the Boston convention in April 1917. In November, during an event to commemorate the Centenary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh in Chicago, the national community took up the affair and appointed an investigative committee consisting of Mason Remey (chair) as well as Emogene Hoagg, George Latimer and Louis Gregory. Their report tabled on the 9th of December found that the Reading Room (now calling themselves the Chicago Bahá'í Assembly), had been in violation for "mingling human ideas with the Word of God".
      The victory over the "dissenters" was not complete however. In addition to those who were attracted by Harmon's interpretations there were those leading Bahá'ís like Agnes Parsons and Joseph Hannen who objected to the way the committee had conducted it's investigation. However, at the April 1918 convention the report was unanimously approved by the delegates albeit with several absent delegates. Thus the balance between liberalism and authoritarianism was shifted to the latter with firm ideas about what constituted the Bahá'í belief. As a result in 1918 there was a proposal to establish a review procedure for Bahá'í publications, both old and new as well as measures to ensure doctrinal control at Green Acre. [SBBH1p189-194]
Chicago; United States Review
1970. Jan The inaugural publication of The American Bahá'í. The intention was that this new publication would contain news items, editorials, letters to the editors, feature articles, and various departments to inform, edify and entertain the friends at large. The Bahá'í National Review would continue publication but it would no longer publish news items but would become a gazette for the announcement of official policies and information that the National Spiritual Assembly wished to share with the friends. The Bahá'í National Review continued publication until November of 1970. [Bahá'í National Review Issue 24 December 1969 p15] Wilmette American Bahai (newsletter); Bahai National Review; Newsletters; Periodicals
1971. approx Sep The Universal House of Justice distributed a memorandum to all National Assemblies to provide clarification to the publishing review policy. The purpose of review is to protect the Faith from misrepresentation and to ensure dignity and accuracy in its presentation. In general the function of a reviewing committee is to say whether the work submitted gives an acceptable presentation of the Cause or not. [National Bahá'í Review Issue 45 September 1971 p2] BWC Review (general); Universal House of Justice; Publishing
1979. 3 Jan In a message from the Department of the Secretariat of the Universal House of Justice "To the Participants in the Bahá'í Studies Seminar on Ethics and Methodology held in Cambridge on 30 September and 1 October 1978" the subject of the review of Bahá'í publications was clarified. has already established the policy that doctoral theses do not have to be reviewed unless there is a proposal to publish them in larger quantities than is required by the examining body.

Also included were comments / a small compilation from the Research Department at the World Centre on the seminar and on Bahá'í scholarship. They concluded by discussing the two particular dangers to which Bahá'í scholars are exposed.

Cambridge; United Kingdom Scholarship; Publications; Publishing; Review (general); Bahai Studies, Associations for; Science message">message
1988 29 Dec The Universal House of Justice issued a letter to the Bahá'ís in the United States published as Individual Rights and Freedoms in the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh. [Mess86-01p60] BWC; United States Universal House of Justice, Letters and messages; Publications; Administration; Administrative Order; Authority; Bahai Faith, Evolutionary nature of; Consultation; Criticism and apologetics; Ethics; Freedom and liberty; Freedom of expression; Human rights; Individualism; Moderation; Review (general); Unity; Western culture
2022. 17 Aug The Universal House of Justice announced that a Persian Reviewing Panel, appointed by and operating under the auspices of that National Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, would attend to the review and approval of manuscripts in Persian written by Bahá'ís in all countries, with the goal of ensuring that such publications represent the Bahá'í Faith accurately and with dignity. [Letter from the NSA of Canada S122269] United States Persian Reviewing Panel; Review (general)

from the main catalogue

  1. Administrative Order, Suggestions about changes in, by Universal House of Justice (1995-05-18). Ways in which Bahá'ís may make suggestions for change within the Bahá'í administration, and the nature of internet discussions. [about]
  2. Bahá'í Fundamentalism and the Academic Study of the Babi Movement, by Denis MacEoin, in Religion, 16:1 (1986). A response to Afnan and Hatcher's "Western Islamic Scholarship and Bahá'í Origins," on the issues of faith-based approaches to religious history and textual criticism. [about]
  3. Bahá'í Review: Should the 'red flag' law be repealed?, by Barney Leith, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 5:1 (1995). Argument that the current provisions for review may be anachronistic and that the benefits of deregulation might outweigh possible disadvantages. Includes responses by Roxanne Lalonde and Sepideh Taheri. [about]
  4. Bahá'í studies Seminar in Cambridge, 30 September - 1 October 1978: Message to Participants, by Universal House of Justice, in Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1963-1986: The Third Epoch of the Formative Age, (1996). Harmony of science and religion; faith and reason; spiritual scholarship; and the institution of review. [about]
  5. Challenges to Bahá'í Studies, by Udo Schaefer, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 2:1 (1992). Discussion of the intellectual presentation of the Bahá'í Faith, and of the related topics of review, apologetics, and contemporary political contexts. [about]
  6. Critical Examination of 20th-Century Baha'i Literature, A, by Vance Salisbury (1997). Explores the claim, first made by E. G. Browne, that some Bahá'ís suppress or distort historical texts. Includes tables of changes made in different editions of four popular Bahá'í books. [about]
  7. Individual Rights and Freedoms, by Universal House of Justice (1988-12-29). An important and often-quoted letter about rights and freedom of expression in the Bahá'í community, as contrasted with those in American civil society. [about]
  8. Internet and Literature Review, The, by Bahá'í Internet Agency (2011-02-17). Guidance from the Bahá'í World Centre to two NSAs, that the process of "literature review" does not apply to the Internet for informal publications (like personal blogs), but it does apply for formal ones (like e-journals). [about]
  9. Kalimat Press and Distribution by Bahá'í Agencies (1999, 2005, 2006, 2008). While Bahá'ís are free to purchase and own books by Kalimat Press, the Bahá'í distribution services stopped carrying titles by this publisher. [about]
  10. Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File, by Bahá'u'lláh and Abdu'l-Bahá (1988). The classic Bahá'í reference book. This is its first online edition. [about]
  11. Modernity and the Millennium: The Genesis of the Bahá'í Faith in the Nineteenth-century Middle East [introduction only], by Juan Cole, in Studies in the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions (1998). Introduction and first 4 pages of Chapter One. [about]
  12. Note on Maceoin's 'Bahá'í Fundamentalism' and 'Afnán, Hatcher and an old bone', by Muhammad Afnan and William S. Hatcher, in Religion, 16:2 (1986). Two shorter follow-up essays, offering closing thoughts on a previously-published debate about issues of historical accuracy, academic neutrality, and faith-based scholarship. [about]
  13. Publishing, Bahá'í, Memorandum on: Materials to be Deposited with the Bahá'í World Centre Library, by Bahá'í International Archives and Universal House of Justice (1998/2000). Overview of Literature Review, publishing, translations, and details of the requirement of sending copies of all materials to the World Center archives. [about]
  14. Reviewing: Practice and Functions of Literature Review, by Shoghi Effendi and Universal House of Justice (1989?). Overview of Literature Review, publishing, and the requirement of sending copies of all materials to the Bahá'í World Center library. [about]
  15. Salmani's My Memories of Baha'u'llah, Publication of, by Universal House of Justice (1982-12-02). Two letters, to a Bahá'í publisher and an individual, regarding the 1982 publication of My Memories of Bahá'u'lláh, an autobiography of Bahá'u'lláh's barber, Ustad Salmani. [about]
  16. Translation and Review, by Universal House of Justice (1991-09-08). Whether certain scholars were authorized as translators, and that the institution of review is not being abrogated at this time. [about]
  17. Translation of Authoritative Bahá'í Texts into the Spanish Language, by Universal House of Justice (1993-01-06). Regarding issues related to the translation of authoritative Bahá’í Texts into the Spanish language and the establishment of an international body responsible for the direction and approval of such translation work. [about]
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