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The Baha'i Faith in America sets out to accomplish two main goals. The first is to introduce to the American reading public a religion whose name may be commonly mentioned or heard, yet in terms of its unique history, world-view, beliefs, and laws, is virtually unknown. Such categories provide the essential material for Part I. The second objective, which...
The Baha'i Faith in America sets out to accomplish two main goals. The first is to introduce to the American reading public a religion whose name may be commonly mentioned or heard, yet in terms of its unique history, world-view, beliefs, and laws, is virtually unknown. Such categories provide the essential material for Part I. The second objective, which is the uniting thread of Part II, is to trace the historical development of the American Baha'i community from its earliest beginnings at the end of the nineteenth century up until the present day.The chapters in this section not only peruse the major events and introduce the leading personalities associated with American Baha'i history, they also trace significant themes, motifs, and issues that have characterized the community over the decades. Examples include early Baha'i connections with both American millenialism and metaphysical esotericism, to more recent associations with the Civil Rights Movement and the 1960s youth counterculture. In addition, the book's final chapters take a close look at some of the more controversial issues that have characterized American Baha'i community life over the past few decades. Here issues ranging in content from disagreements over differing styles of propogation to the freedom of expression allowed to Baha'i scholars are examined. In the process, the work reveals a dynamic and highly idealistic faith that is attempting to offer a model of religious community that is compatible with the continuing process of globalization.
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