Watch now: The Early Years of the Guardianship, with Richard Hollinger
Articles

Director's Report for June, 2022

Jun 1, 2022

Robert H. Stockman

The Wilmette Institute has completed another successful semester at Graduate Theological Union. Its three credit courses were Introduction to Bahá’í Scripture: The Writings of Bahá’u’lláhBahá’í Theology; and Reconstructing Blackness: Anti-Racism and Unity in the U.S. They had a total of eight registrations, which included three persons who were not Bahá’ís, one of whom said she was now sharing the Bahá’í perspective widely in her other courses.

We also conducted two webinars for GTU students and faculty; Michael Karlberg spoke about “Responding to Injustice with Constructive Agency” and Arthur Dahl presented about “Navigating the Urgent Transition Toward Sustainability.” The latter presentation garnered a co-sponsorship from Sustainability 360, the GTU’s sustainability program, and the Wilmette Institute hopes to work closely with the program in the future.

We are already looking forward to offering one course for credit in August through the Wilmette Institute’s own Moodle, on the harmony of science and religion, and two courses through GTU’s Moodle to their students. We are aware of three Bahá’ís who plan to sign up for the courses. We will offer webinars to GTU in the fall as well.

To continue the Wilmette Institute’s momentum, the full- and part-time staff are meeting at the Los Angeles Bahá’í Center June 4 to 7 to discuss the extension course program and consider other aspects of the development of the Institute. There will be a report about that meeting next month.

member-img

Robert Stockman, ThD

Wilmette Institute Director

I have had a passion for researching and teaching about the Bahá’í Faith for more than half of my life. My fascination with American Bahá’í history and with the first American Bahá’í, Thornton Chase, caused me, in 1980, to switch my academic field from planetary science to history of religion in the United States. As I was finishing my doctorate in that field at Harvard University in 1990, I drew up plans to create a Bahá’í Studies institute that would offer courses, encourage research, and publish. Instead, I was hired by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States to start a research office at our national Bahá’í headquarters in Wilmette, Illinois. Some of the responsibilities of the research office led to the creation of the Wilmette Institute, which ​focuses on most of the tasks of the institute I originally conceived. Meanwhile, I have also remained involved in academia, teaching religious studies part time at DePaul University in Chicago and currently at Indiana University South Bend, just a mile from home. I have also published four books on aspects of Bahá’í history (including a biography of Thornton Chase) and one introductory textbook on the Faith. Listen to Robert’s interview on ‘A Bahá’í Perspective’ podcastSee Faculty Bio

Up Next...