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The University of Haifa Lectures in Bahá’í Studies

Edited By Soli Shahvar

This volume brings together a selection of essays from the Lecture Series in Bahá’í studies at the University of Haifa. Each chapter explores an aspect of the Bahá’í religion, including its history, community, culture and theoretical perspectives on contemporary issues. The authors discuss topics including the family and descendants of the Báb (founder of the religion from which the Bahá’í Faith emerged), the influential role of Bahá’í schools in the modernization of education in Iran, the process of introducing the law of monogamy into the Iranian Bahá’í community, early connections between Swiss citizens and Bahá’ís in the Middle East, the rich and varied landscape of Persian Bahá’í poetry, and the role of African Americans in the development of the US Bahá’í community, particularly with regard to race relations and the principle of the oneness of humanity. Also presented in this volume are Bahá’í perspectives on contemporary topics including changing conceptions of work and work values, the role of apologetics in interfaith dialogue, and the issue of ‘defamation of religions’ in international human rights discourse. This book will be of interest to readers in various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences who want to become informed in more depth about a wider range of topics in the emerging field of Bahá’í studies.

Elham Afnan: The Goodly Gifts: A Brief History of the Afnán Family – Soli Shahvar: The Bahá’í Schools and the Modernization of Education in Iran – Siyamak Zabihi- Moghaddam: The Introduction of Monogamy in the Iranian Bahá’í Community, 1873‒1936: A Study in the Progressive Application of Religious Law – John Paul Vader and Graham Hassall: Episodes from the Early History of the Bahá’í Faith in Switzerland, with Particular Reference to the Middle East – Richard W. Thomas: African American Bahá’ís, Race Relations and the Development of the Bahá’í Community in the United States –  HeshmatMoayyad: Glimpses of Persian Bahá’í Poetry and Poets – Tiffani Betts Razavi: A Bahá’í Perspective on the Meaning of Work and Values –  Nicola Towfigh: Apologetics and Interfaith Dialogue from a Bahá’í Perspective – Nazila Ghanea: A Bahá’í Perspective on ‘Defamation of Religions’ – Notes on Contributors – Index.