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Recruitment and Organization in the Bábí and early Baha'i Movements: A Resource Mobilization Perspective

Mar 16, 2019
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The Resource Mobilization Perspective is a particular approach in the Sociology of Social and Religious Movements, which focuses on the practicalities by which social and religious movements are organized and mobilize the resources they need to achieve their objectives. This approach is here applied to examining the short-lived Bábí movement and the early development of the Bahá’í movement which succeeded it. The talk deals mainly with questions of recruitment and organization, and is confined to developments in Iran and adjacent territories up to c. 1921.


Peter Smith, PhD

Assoc. Prof., Mahidol University International College (MUIC)

I was one of a number of young British Bahá’ís who were attracted to the scholarly study of the Faith by the pioneering work of Hasan Balyuzi. As a group we began a series of academically-oriented Bahá’í Studies seminars (which still continue) and a few of us also chose Bábí and Bahá’í topics for our doctoral research. My own PhD was later published by Cambridge University Press as ‘The Bábí and Bahá’í Religions: From Messianic Shi`ism to a World Religion’ (1987). I moved to Thailand in 1985 where I became involved in setting up what is now Mahidol University’s International College (MUIC). At MUIC, I established the Social Science Division (1998), which I chaired until my retirement in 2013. I also served as the equivalent of academic dean for several years. I have published widely on Bábí-Bahá’í Studies (see my CV). For a short summary of my published books see: Faculty Bio


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