The Wilmette Institute, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of its establishment by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States in January 1995, is announcing free Web Talks for each month in 2015.
The Web Talks will use a system that will transmit the audio and video of the speaker and any PowerPoint slides being used. Audience members will be able to ask questions and make comments by typing them into a “chat box.” Dr. Robert H. Stockman, the director of the Wilmette Institute, will be on hand for each lecture to introduce the speaker of the month. All Web Talks, unless otherwise indicated, will be held on a Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Eastern Time (1 p.m. CT; 12 noon MT; 11 a.m. PT; 7 p.m. U.K.; 8 p.m. Western Europe).
The first speaker for the Web Talks series is Dr. John L. Hatcher, who will be speaking on Sunday, January 18, on “The Face of God Among Us,” the title of his book of the same name published in 2010. The book discusses the purpose, nature, powers, and methodology of Manifestations of God. In his Web talk, Dr. Hatcher will focus on several enigmatic questions related to the nature and power of the Manifestations, particularly on what seems to the epiphany They experience as a signal to being their ministries. He will also discuss the extent to which They are the authors of their own revelations (as opposed to being merely conduits through which God communicated with humankind).
Dr. Hatcher in a professor emeritus of English at the University of South Florida, Tampa, and the editor of The Journal of Bahá’í Studies, published by the Association for Bahá’í Studies. He has published over twenty-six books as well as chapters in a number of works. Among his many Bahá’í publications are Auroral Darkness: The Life and Poetry of Robert E. Hayden, The Purpose of Physical Reality: The Kingdom of Names, The Arc of Ascent, and Close Connections: The Bridge between Spiritual and Physical Reality.
Other speakers confirmed for the 2015 Web Talks include Ian Kluge (February 1, Bahá’í Proofs of God); Anne Perry (March 1, Where Spirit Intersects Art); Chris Buck (May 3, God and Apple Pie: Religious Myths and Visions of America); Sandra Lynn Hutchison (June 7, The Use of Poetry in the Baha’i Dispensation); Susanne Alexander (August 30, Healthy, Unified Marriages as a Service to Humanity); Arthur Lyon Dahl (September 6, Navigating the Storm: The Transition to Sustainability); Baharieh Maani (September 28, The Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees); and Steven Friberg (November 15, Science and Religion). Speakers for the remaining months will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.
Announcements for the Twentieth Anniversary Web Talks will be posted each month in the Wilmette Institute’s Save These Dates! column in its eNewsletter, together with instructions about how to sign up for the lectures. Each month the Institute will also send out e-mail flyers including the link to the live program. Details can also be found on our Twentieth Anniversary Web Talks page.