Faculty Member Dr. Sandra Lynn Hutchison to Be Featured in Sixth Wilmette Institute Twentieth Anniversary Web Talk on June 7—“Windows on Divine Wisdom: Accessing the Meaning of the Bahá’í Revelation”
May 29, 2015
On Sunday, June 7, Dr. Sandra Lynn Hutchison will speak on “Windows on Divine Wisdom: Accessing the Meaning of the Bahá’í Revelation” in a free Web Talk marking the Wilmette Institute’s twentieth anniversary. To sign up for the talk, click here. In her talk,Dr. Hutchison will examine some of the obstacles readers face in studying the Bahá’í writings and suggest strategies for overcoming them. Because the Bahá’í scriptures comprise a large and complex body of work, many readers feel overwhelmed in approaching them and daunted by the task of unraveling the richly metaphorical language in which they were revealed. Consequently, Dr. Hutchison will seek answers to the following questions: How can we approach the Bahá’í scripturesin a systematic way? What skills can we develop to help us as readers in our search for the “hidden gift” that Bahá’u’lláh tells us is “contained” in the Word of God? (Prayers and Meditations 83) In an effort to answer these questions, she will examine the guidance offered in the Bahá’í writings about how to become an engaged and enlightened reader of the texts. She will also demonstrate how various literary and exegetical tools might be combined to create a systematic method for accessing the meaning of the Bahá’í revelation. Dr. Hutchison is the author of two books: a book of poetry, The Art of Nesting (George Ronald Books, 2008) and a memoir about her time living in China, Chinese Brushstrokes (Turnstone Press, 1996). She holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Toronto and recently undertook an MFA in poetry at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, USA. She has lectured at universities around the world and has also worked as a journalist, most recently as a columnist for In Culture Parent. Her interest in Bahá’í scholarship dates from her time serving in the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice in the 1990s. She has taught various courses through the Wilmette Institute since its inception and currently offers two courses: Studying the Bahá’í Writings: Accessing the Meaning of the Revelation and The Practice of the Arts, a workshop course. Sandra has published scholarly work on the writings of ‘Abdul-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, and Amatúl-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum. She has also worked as a literary editor, serving for almost a decade as the poetry editor for the long-established Maine journal, Puckerbrush Review. She is now preparing to launch Elixir, an online Bahá’í journal of the arts and letters to be published under the auspices of the Wilmette Institute. Most Wilmette Institute Web Talks are given on Sundays and all begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time; 11 a.m. Pacific; 7 p.m. in the U.K.; 8 p.m. Western Europe. Talks scheduled for the remainder of 2015 include: August 30: Dr. Susanne Alexander, “Healthy, Unified Marriages as Service to Humanity” September 6: Dr. Arthur Lyon Dahl, “Navigating the Storm: The Transition to Sustainability” September 28: Dr. Baharieh Rouhani Maani, “The Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees” October 18: Dr. Sovaida Maani Ewing, “Building a World Federation: The Key to Solving Our Global Crises” November 15: Dr. Steve Friberg, “Science and Religion” December 6: Dr. Michael Penn, “The Nature of the Human Mind: A Bahá’í Perspective” Click here for information on the Web Talks and the speakers.