Message from the Editor
As you may note from our latest issue focused on “spirituality and the poetic voice,” we are continuing to have most volumes centered around various themes related to the discourses of society. The Spring issue will be an example of how Bahá’í scholarship offers a special lens through which one can examine discrete fields of study, and, conversely, how intensive study in a field can help inform us as Bahá’ís about the manifold ways in which knowledge about reality—and those laws and relationships governing the material world, human nature, and human relationships—can increase our understanding and appreciation of the authoritative texts.
In the coming issues we will be focusing on such subjects as spirituality in the field of medicine; the concept of the essential self, especially as confirmed in the field of science; the plight and experience of indigenous peoples; racial identity in relation to the Bahá’í Faith; aging and dementia; the value of studying history to our understanding of the Bahá’í perspective of humankind on planet Earth; anxiety and depressive disorders; creative study of the Holy Texts; evolution and the Bahá’í teachings, the process of building a just society from the ground up; and many other topics.
In order for us to do the best job possible in carrying out these ambitious plans for the next several years and beyond, we would benefit from consistent feedback from you on what we are doing, suggestions for other topics, submissions of articles or proposals for articles, and contact information for scholars who have not as yet published articles in the journals or may not yet be members of Association for Bahá’í Studies. We especially want to hear from those scholars in the United States, some of whom may have come to think of ABS as a “Canadian” thing. But as the name of the organization reminds us, ABS is for the whole of North America.
Finally, our decision taken last year to have book reviews appear on our web site rather than in the Journal will now take effect. The spring issue will have the final book reviews in print. However, this should not be inferred to mean we think book reviews unimportant. Quite the reverse is true. We feel, instead, that by having the reviews appear online whenever they have been completed, we can give our membership up-to-date information about works that have relevance to our audience, whereas the reviews appearing in the Journal have taken far too long to get into print and thereby provide valuable information about new work related to Bahá’í studies. Therefore, we have added to our web site the guidelines for those who wish to submit a book review for consideration.
We look forward to your suggestions and your submission of articles, proposals, book reviews, as well as news of grants, honors, publications, and other accomplishments by ABS members.
John S. Hatcher,
The Journal of Bahá’í Studies