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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.
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Note on Transliteration

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The transliteration system used in this book for Arabic and Persian is essentially the same as that of the International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES), with some distinctions including the following: acute accents are used to indicate long vowels; consonants rendered by digraphs such as sh are underlined for clarity; ‘ayn and hamzih are represented by opening and closing single quotation marks, respectively; two or more terms in the construct state are affixed; in non-initial words of the construct state the alif of the Arabic definite article (al-) is represented by a closing single quotation mark; and the lám of the definite article is rendered in assimilated form with ‘sun’ letters (the last three rules are exemplified in ‘Vakílu’d-Dawlih’). Arabic and Persian are represented by a single set of characters. In the Bahá’í texts, Persian and Arabic are frequently combined, and Arabic words occurring in a Persian context are subject to the rules of Persian grammar and pronunciation.

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