John Hatcher, “In the Beginning Was a Word: How Language Knits Reality Together”

Sunday, October 15, 2017, 2 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Western European time)

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The Word of God is the king of words and its pervasive influence is incalculable. (Bahá’u’lláh)

Each Manifestation claims to be the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega. Likewise, besides manifesting perfectly all the attributes of God, each Manifestation is associated with the primary tool by means of which God’s will becomes fulfilled—the words that emanate spontaneously from these Emissaries and constitute Holy Text, the explicit guidance for a specific era or dispensation in the progressive enlightenment of humankind.

It is in this context that in the beginning of the book of John in the New Testament, the Manifestation is referred to as “the Word” which becomes flesh and dwells among us and which is the source of creation itself: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).

This presentation will attempt to explain the overarching significance of these concepts, particularly as they relate to the advent of Bahá’u’lláh, “His Supreme Pen,” and how, as soon as Bahá’u’lláh dwells among us, God’s grace becomes “infused into all created things” (Gleanings p. 6).

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John S. Hatcher received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Vanderbilt University and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. He is Professor Emeritus in English literature at the University of South Florida in Tampa where he served as Director of Graduate Studies in English and where he specialized in teaching medieval literature and creative writing. Professor Hatcher taught English literature at the university level for forty-three years, thirty-nine of which were at the University of South Florida. He has published some thirty books, plus numerous articles, chapters, and poems. He is currently the editor of the Journal of Baha’i Studies.

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