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Religion and Science in the Globalized World

Part 1

Religion and Science in the Globalized World (Panel #1)

July 23, 2023 AT 11:00 AM Pacific, 02:00 PM Eastern

Flyer for Religion and Science in the Globalized World featuring book cover with a purple, blue and white graphic depicting what looks like a molecular energy field, or an expanding universe, along with head shots of the panelists and the host.
The first panel in this 2-part webinar series is devoted to Bahá’í approaches to various aspects of globalization as discussed in the articles “Globalization — The Tangible Expression of Humanity’s Journey Towards Unity” by Sovaida Ma’ani Ewing; “Building a Just and Sustainable Global Food System: Some Guiding Principles” by Paul Hanley; and “Globalization Requires a Bahá’í Foundation” by Hooshmand Badee. The Host for both panels is Mikhail Sergeev.


To view or download a PDF copy of Sovaida Maani Ewings presentation, click the link below titled “View or Download PDF.” Other panelist presentations are listed below.

Building a Just and Sustainable Food System (Some Guiding Principles) by Paul Hanley (PDF)

Part 2

Religion and Science in the Globalized World (Panel #2)

August 13, 2023 AT 11:00 AM Pacific, 02:00 PM Eastern

Flyer for Religion and Science in the Globalized World featuring book cover with a purple, blue and white graphic depicting what looks like a molecular energy field, or an expanding universe, along with head shots of the panelists and the host.
The second panel in this 2-part webinar series focuses on different issues within the domains of natural and social sciences. It is based on the articles by the participants, including “How Can We All Get Along?—A Bahá’í Perspective on Globalization” by Harold Rosen, “Plato, Modern Physics, and Bahá’u’lláh” by Vahid Ranjbar and “Iterative Theology: Progressive Revelation as the String Theory of Religious Studies” by Andres Elvira Espinoza.



Vahid Ranjbar

Vahid Ranjbar is a research physicist working at Brookhaven National Laboratory. His field of research is spin and beam dynamics for which he has published extensively and has served as a reviewer for the American Physical Society’s Physical Review Journals. He is currently leading the development of the electron injector complex for the future Electron Ion Collider. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Indiana University and did his post-doctoral work at Fermilab working on collective effects in the Tevatron. He grew up living in Tanzania, India, Pakistan and in the US and spent three years studying physics in Novosibirsk Russia. He is an occasional contributor to magazine writing on subjects related to science and religion.


Andres Elvira Espinoza

Andres Elvira Espinoza is a freelance writer, independent scholar, and second-generation Bahá’í who was born and raised in California. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy—with a minor in anthropology—at Cal Poly Pomona, and a Master’s degree in bioethics at Loyola Marymount University. His first publication was “The Excellence of h+: Virtue, Utility, and Human Enhancement” in Rutgers Journal of Bioethics. He currently writes and researches freelance, has served as a volunteer Teaching Assistant for two courses at the Wilmette Institute, and intends to return to graduate school to receive further degrees in the next few years. His interests span the sciences and humanities, including the philosophy of science, biomimetics, and literature of all genres.


Harold Rosen, MA

Community Interfaith Educator

I am a lifelong student and teacher of world religions with master’s degrees in religion, education and philosophy. A Unitarian minister for 25 years and a Bahá’í since the year 2000, I serve as a Community Interfaith Educator in the Vancouver, Canada area. With my wife Wendy, I am active in Bahá’í community work, cycles of teaching, and interfaith outreach. Since the year 2000, I designed and taught about 200 community courses in quite varied settings. Content areas include: world religions and history of ideas, major civilizations, science and spirituality, as well as evolution and development in interdisciplinary perspective. My various educational and interfaith experiences, and my love for learning and teaching enable me to serve as an effective and inspiring teacher on diverse philosophical, religious and cultural themes.  See Faculty Bio


Sovaida Ma'ani Ewing, LLM

Director, Center for Peace and Global Governance (CPGG)

My passion for correlating the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith with the urgent needs of our planet was born when, as a teenager, I first came across this quote by Bahá’u’lláh: “Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.” I was so inspired by it that I decided to adopt the quote as the guiding principle of my life. Thus began a wondrous journey of simultaneously educating myself about the global challenges of our times and the guidance offered in the Bahá’í Writings. My purpose through these intervening years has been to find practical ways of applying the vision and framework offered by the Baha’i Writings to solving our global challenges including climate change, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, migration, financial crises, and genocide to name but a few. As a result of intensive research, I have developed a methodology grounded in the Bahá’í Writings of proposing a set of shared global ethics that nations can agree upon and demonstrating how we can apply them methodically to find practical and politically palatable solutions to our global problems. My work has further explored the next steps we can take to build collective decision-making and enforcement institutions as we work to create a new system of global governance along the lines envisioned by Bahá’u’lláh. These institutions are designed to be fit for the 21st century and beyond, and must be grounded in the system of shared global ethics that we agree upon. My work over the years has resulted in the publication of four books in the area of global governance and invitations to speak to audiences around the world with an increasing focus on university students. I have also developed and offered 5-day courses to equip university students and young adults with the mindset and tools to tackle our pressing global crises. In addition to my blog, I am currently developing a series of videos which I hope to have available on my website ( by the end of this year (2019). I have coached and mentored many students; engaging in meaningful dialogues with them has been the highlight of my work. While they are bright and engaged and completely vested in solving the looming global challenges they will inherit, they are not yet tainted with the cynicism and apathy that seems to have overtaken my generation. The future of our world will be determined by who they become and what they choose to do. Listen to Sovaida’s interview with Rainn Wilson on ‘Bahá’í Blogcast' Listen to Sovaida’s interview on ‘A Bahá’í Perspective’ podcastSee Faculty Bio


Paul Hanley

Author, Environmental Columnist

Although I was raised in a city, I became fascinated with agriculture as a youth and decided to “drop out” and become a smallholder farmer in Saskatchewan, Canada where I grew up. I helped form the first community land trust in Canada and lived on a self-sufficient, off grid farm for 10 years. During this time I became engaged in the Earthcare Group, a movement to promote organic gardening and farming and started to teach organic gardening classes for the University of Regina in 1975. I participated in the committee that organized a series of six groundbreaking conferences on organic farming involving producers and government and university experts. I edited and co-wrote Earthcare–Ecological Agriculture in Saskatchewan, published in 1980, a guide to organic farming in the prairie region. These activities contributed to the formation of a substantial organic farming industry in Saskatchewan and Canada in the 1980s and onward. I have published five books and 1600 articles on the environment, sustainable development, agriculture, and other topics.  I was environment columnist with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix from 1989 to 2016. I am a recipient of the Canadian Environment Award, the Meewasin Conservation Award, the Organic Connections Pioneer Organic Communicator Award, and the Saskatchewan Sustainability Award from the Regional Centre of Excellence for Education on Sustainable Development. My book ELEVEN (2014) received the 2015 University of Saskatchewan President’s Award for Non-fiction and the 2015 ABS North America Award for Distinguished Scholarship. My biography Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Conservationist (University of Regina Press 2018), features a foreword by HRH Prince Charles and introduction by Jane Goodall.See Faculty Bio


Mikhail Yu. Sergeev, PhD

University of the Arts, Philadelphia

Mikhail Sergeev (Ph.D. in religious studies from Temple University, 1997) is a religion, philosophy, and modern art historian. He has served as an editor of the book series Contemporary Russian Philosophy at Brill Publishers in the Netherlands (2016–2019) and as chair of the Department of Religion, Philosophy, and Theology at the Wilmette Institute (2017–21). Sergeev teaches courses in humanities at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, California). He is also an Affiliate Professor at the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in New Brighton, Minnesota. Sergeev has published more than two hundred scholarly, literary, and journalistic articles in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia, Russia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan. He is the author and contributing editor of fourteen books, including Russian Philosophy in the Twenty-First Century: An Anthology (Brill, 2020).  Web site: See Faculty Bio


Hooshmand Badee, PhD

Author, Faculty Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE)

Living amongst both the poorest nations and the wealthiest nations of the world for more than four decades, I witnessed inequality in the standard of living and a widening gap between the rich and the poor. It was clear from my experiences and observations that such extremes and their effects on people’s lives are of great significance in understanding and redefining human well-being. It was this condition that fueled my passion for studying and researching the Bahá’í teachings on economics and exploring alternative solutions to tackle some of the challenging economic questions of our time. Hence, I did my doctoral research at the University of Leeds (the administrative part) in the UK in 2016. My doctoral research title is “The Bahá’í teachings on economics and their implications for the Bahá’í community and the wider society.” In 2018, a thesis to the book was completed. The new title is Economics and the Bahá’í Faith. In 1983, I was inspired by the message of the Universal House of Justice and got involved in Bahá’í social and economic development projects in Bangladesh as well as later on in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the West Indies with the aim of putting the grassroots population at the centre of activities.See Faculty Bio

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