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The Summons of the Lord of Hosts

Bahá'u'lláh's Proclamation to Kings and Ecclesiastics

Bahá’í History & Texts
8 weeks
Weekly Study
Dec 2-Jan 26
Register By
December 7, 2021

This course will explore the series of open letters (“Tablets”) that Bahá’u’lláh sent to “kings and ecclesiastics” (the world’s political and religious leaders) and, to a lesser extent, to statesmen and scholars, beginning in 1867. Written after He privately declared His mission to select followers in the Garden of Ridván on 21 April 1863, these public epistles, according to the Universal House of Justice, “summoned the monarchs of East and West collectively, and some among them individually, to recognize the Day of God and to acknowledge the One promised in the scriptures of the religions professed by the recipients of His Summons.” Bahá’u’lláh Himself says that this Proclamation was unique in the annals of religious history:  “Never since the beginning of the world hath the Message been so openly proclaimed.”

The study of these historic and momentous Tablets is encouraged: “As Bahá’u’lláh’s influence penetrates ever more deeply the life of the larger society throughout the world,” the Universal House of Justice has further written, “it seems especially appropriate” that the full texts of Bahá’u’lláh’s important letters sounding the themes of His revelation be studied by “a broad readership.”

Bahá’u’lláh states that His proclamation was delivered in three stages, in which He declared His mission to “mystics, then divines, and then the kings.” (Ishraqat 260; trans. Saiedi 2000: 241.)  Nader Saiedi sequences these stages as follows: (1) first stage, 1852–1860; second stage, 1860–1867; and (3) third stage, 1867–1892. (Saiedi 2000: 7) This course explores the third stage in Bahá’u’lláh’s proclamation. 

Meet Your Faculty
Christopher Buck, PhD

Christopher Buck (PhD, JD) attorney and independent scholar, is the author of several books, including: Bahá’í Faith: The Basics (2020), God & Apple Pie (2015), with an introduction by J. Gordon Melton (Distinguished Professor of American Religious History, Baylor University), Religious Myths and Visions of America (2009, “an original contribution to American studies,” Journal of American History, June 2011), Alain Locke:... See Faculty Bio

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