Image: Closeup of section of a slide in Enid Probst’s “Journey of the Soul”
Course: The Bahá’í Faith and the Arts (2022)
Faculty Mentor: Anne Perry
In taking the course The Bahá’í Faith and the Arts, my goal was to gain insight into how to use the arts to inspire dialogues about the Bahá’í Faith. My projects included a reflection paper paired with a slide presentation. I am currently writing a reflection paper on the Journey of the Soul and have completed a PowerPoint presentation. [Click here for PDF version of Journey of the Soul by Enid Probst. All rights reserved]
The readings, videos, and PowerPoint presentations in the course presented me with a rich portrait of how the arts can be used for the Bahá’í faith. I have a greater knowledge of the many ways the arts are encouraged in the Bahá’í writings and the importance of the arts in our faith. The materials have helped me to reframe my own artistic endeavors, as well as illustrating how to incorporate the arts into community building.
From the many wonderful examples that were shared, I hope my skill in presentation has improved as well as my skill at incorporating all the arts into community life. I have included in the forum a PowerPoint presentation that was inspired by other students’ presentations.
In addition, I have gained a greater recognition of the importance of employing the arts in all of my personal and community activities. I feel bolder and will endeavor to be more assertive in including artistic activities in my community life, which is very formulaic right now.
I feel deep gratitude to the artists who shared their gifts, which have served as excellent role models of how to apply the arts. I have learned that I must leave my ego and my understandings at the door when I go into the studio and call on God, and on the Concourse on high [a term for the gathering of God’s prophets, and His holy and chosen souls] to lead the way.
Since finishing the course, I have taken several steps already to apply the lessons. Most immediately, our neighborhood conference will incorporate the arts. Really, it will be all about art—poetry and a creative mural project—not as much talking. There are no other Bahá’ís in my neighborhood, so the planning of art activities alone has given the planning team an uplifting view of the Bahá’í faith. Another artist and I have started talking about how to incorporate art into our feasts and holy day celebrations.