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Charters of the Faith

The Charters according to Shoghi Effendi are: Tablet of Carmel (Bahá'u'lláh), and `Abdu'l-Bahá’s Will and Testament and Tablets of the Divine Plan.

Bahá’í History & Texts
6 weeks
Weekly Study
Dec 3-Jan 13
Register By
December 8, 2020
Fee: $75

Shoghi Effendi identified three great Charters which guide the development of the Bahá’í world community. These charters—Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet of Carmel, and 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament and Tablets of the Divine Plan—continue today to be the heart of Bahá’í activity. Though each of the three charters has its own unique purpose, participants in this course will observe how they interact upon and reinforce each other. Participants will gain insight and inspiration as they work in the world to share the divine message, build spiritual community, promote racial justice, spiritually impact on institutional corruption, and bring an end to war.

Participants will study 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament, described by Shoghi Effendi with the same words he used to describe the Most Holy Book—the "Charter of Bahá'u'lláh's New World Order"; will reflect upon this document which the Guardian calls 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Covenant, His promise that the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh guide the Universal House of Justice in its manifold acts of leadership of the community; and study its guidance for the unification, spiritualization and protection of the station of the children of men.

The Tablets of the Divine Plan, though particularly addressed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the believers in North America, call and inspire all of the friends to become "Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh", helping a stricken humanity through its turmoil to its triumph—the Kingdom of God on earth. Participants will reflect on the Tablet of Carmel, Bahá'u'lláh's blueprint for the development of the World Center of the Faith—its Shrine, its "world-shaking, world-embracing, world-directing administrative institutions," and the fulfillment of His promise of the emergence of "The People of Bahá," the members of the Universal House of Justice. Serious reflection on these three charters will aid each of us in finding our own place in carrying out the clear and serene guidance of the Universal House of Justice, and aid us to more effectively do our share to end "the hatreds that inflame, the rivalries that agitate, the controversies that confuse, the miseries that afflict" the world, and lead it to "the throne of abiding tranquility."

Interview Schedule

This course will feature a number of guest speakers, who will make presentations each week. These presentations will be recorded so if course participants are unable to attend they can watch the videos at their leisure the following week.

Wednesday, December 9, 9 pm Eastern

Angelina Diliberto Allen, "Mount Carmel and the Tablets of the Divine Plan"

Sunday, December 13, 3 pm Eastern

Sheila W. Banani, "Observations of Shoghi Effendi from my 1956 Pilgrimage"

Sheila Banani is a Knight of Bahá'u'lláh to Greece. She has an M.A. in Architecture and Urban Planning

Sunday, December 20, 3 pm Eastern

Joan Lincoln, “Some Thoughts about The Tablets of the Divine Plan”

Joan Lincoln: former pioneer in French-speaking Europe and Africa 1970-1993; former member of the International Teaching Centre 1993-2013.

Monday, December 21, 9 pm Eastern

Nwandi Lawson, “Preparation for the Decades to Come”

Counsellor Nwandi Ngozi Lawson: Appointed to the Continental Board of Counsellors for the Americas in 2014.

Sunday, December 27, 3 pm Eastern

Erica Toussaint, "The Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha"

Sunday, January 3, 3 pm Eastern

Michael V. Day, "The Shrine of the Bab and the Tablet of Carmel"

Michael Day is the author of three books about the Shrine of the Bab and Mount Carmel, as well as a photo book, "Queen of Carmel," that encompasses the story contained in the trilogy. Michael formerly served at the Bahá’í World Centre in the Office of Public Affairs. 

Meet Your Faculty
Brent Poirier, JD
Writer, Independent Scholar

I was raised Roman Catholic. My first two years of college, at St. Mary’s College in northern California, were as a seminarian. I felt that the most important course I took during this time was a course in Formal Logic. I left the seminary to see if I could live... See Faculty Bio

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