World Peace: The Bahá'í Perspective

Social Transformation
6 weeks
Weekly Study
Dec 9-Jan 19
Register By
December 16, 2021

Note: this course is being updated. A revised description will be posted. Check back in May for more details.

In 1985 the Universal House of Justice issued The Promise of World Peace, the first in a series of ground-breaking documents which addressed humankind's situation and needs. Thirty-one years later the message enshrined in The Promise of World Peace, known to many as "the Peace Message", is as cogent and urgent as ever. The world is increasingly embroiled in conflict, whether "hot" or "cold". Conflicts over territory, conflicts surrounding nationalist ambitions, conflicts that claim religious inspiration, tribal conflicts, conflicts of all kinds increasingly involve terrorist organizations, fundamentalist religious and ideological groups, nationalist groups, and so on, and are ever more intractable. As the Universal House of Justice wrote in 1985: "Whether peace is to be reached only after unimaginable horrors precipitated by humanity’s stubborn clinging to old patterns of behaviour, or is to be embraced now by an act of consultative will, is the choice before all who inhabit the earth. At this critical juncture when the intractable problems confronting nations have been fused into one common concern for the whole world, failure to stem the tide of conflict and disorder would be unconscionably irresponsible." Much progress has been made in seeing the challenges facing humanity as "one common concern for the whole world", but, sadly, the governments of the world and the United Nations have failed to stem "the tide of conflict and disorder".

In our study of The Promise of World Peace we will consider what changes have taken place in the world situation since 1985, for good and for ill, and we will familiarize ourselves with the document's themes and arguments so that we can draw on them in our contributions to public discourse and our conversations with those we encounter in our daily lives. We will learn to think positively as we recall the words of the House of Justice: "Far from signalizing the end of civilization, the convulsive changes towards which humanity is being ever more rapidly impelled will serve to release the 'potentialities inherent in the station of man' and reveal 'the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality'.

Meet Your Faculty
Barney Leith, OBE, BA
Associate, Faith in Society

I have been a Bahá’í since 1966 and have served on various institutions, including Local Spiritual Assemblies, the Auxiliary Board (for Protection), and the National Spiritual Assembly of the UK. In the early 1970s, I trained as a high school teacher of history and English and taught in state schools... See Faculty Bio

Dan Wheatley, MA
Adjunct Professor, London programs of Arcadia and Syracuse Universities

Dan Wheatley worked on global governance issues in British Parliament for five years and is currently employed by the Bahá’í community of the UK as Senior Diplomatic Officer. His work covers defence of Bahá’í communities facing persecution, and discourses in UK society. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at... See Faculty Bio

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