Webinar

The Writings and Utterances of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Oct 10, 2021

This webinar provides an introduction to the writings and utterances of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844–1921), the son and successor of Bahá’u’lláh (1817–1892), the founder of the Bahá’í religion. Following a general discussion of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s sixty years of literary and oratory activity in the form of books, treatises, letters, prayers, poems, and speeches written or delivered in three languages, this chapter categorizes His work chronologically into four periods:

I. 1863–1892, when, during Bahá’u’lláh’s lifetime, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, acting as the de facto deputy of Bahá’u’lláh, wrote at Bahá’u’lláh’s instruction. Two of His major books and most of His exegetical writings were produced in this period.

II. 1892–1910, the period from the beginning of His ministry to the time He embarked on His journey to the West. As the Centre of Bahá’u’lláh’s covenant, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá writings during this period, for the most part, focused on protecting the Bahá’í religion and preserving its unity.

III. 1910–1913, when, as the interpreter of Bahá’u’lláh’s writings, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá expounded the principles of the Bahá’í religion in the talks and speeches He delivered in the West.

IV. 1913–1921, the final seven years of His life, when His writings were devoted to issues with global implications and far-reaching consequences, such as peace, plans for the propagation of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings, and fundamental philosophical questions.

Contributors

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Mina Yazdani

Born in Iran, Mina Yazdani was a medical student at Shiraz University when the Islamic Revolution broke out in 1979. She was dismissed from the university, in 1981, during the Cultural Revolution, because of being a Baha’i. She then studied via correspondence with Indiana University and earned her BGS. Simultaneously, she studied at the Institute for Advanced Balá’í Studies.  She spent 2001-2002 at Landegg International University where she earned a Master’s in psychology.  In 2004 She moved to Canada where she received an MA in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, and subsequently, her PhD from the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. Her PhD dissertation is titled “Religious Contentions in Modern Iran, 1881-1941.”  She is currently an Associate Professor of history at Eastern Kentucky University. She has published entries in Encyclopædia Iranica and articles in journals such as The Journal of Baha’i Studies, Baha’i Studies Review, Iranian Studies, Iran Nameh, Iran Namag, The Journal of Religious History, The Journal of Educational Controversy and Aasoo.

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