Register Now: Mikhail Sergeev, 'The Issue of Self-Identity in Transhumanism and Bahá’í Writing' (Free webinar, Sunday 25 October)  

Derik Smith: “Centering the Pupil of the Eye”

Sunday, June 7, 2020, 2 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Pacific, 7 p.m. in London)

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In the late nineteenth century, Bahá’u’lláh likened people of African descent to the “pupil of the eye” through which the “light of the spirit shineth forth.” In this talk I’ll suggest that the “pupil of the eye” metaphor is a deeply consequential, distinguishing feature of the transformative social and spiritual system laid out in Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation. Discussing the nexus of capitalism, race, and intellectual history, I’ll summarize the arguments of an essay written for the Journal of Bahá’í Studies, in which I historicize Bahá’u’lláh’s elevating metaphor, and argue that it amounts to a forceful refutation of anti-blackness and thus a dismantling of one of modernity’s pivotal ideologies. I’ll finally talk about the way in which the unique integrity and coherence of Bahá’u’lláh’s system for the creation of universal unity and justice is especially manifest through analytical contemplation of the “pupil of the eye” metaphor.

Link to Journal of Bahá’í Studies, Volume 29, number 1-2
View or Download PDF of Slide Show

Prayer for the Departed | BLM
courtesy Derik Smith & family
Vocals: Walter Heath, on the album “Praise His Name

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