2021 Course Catalog
An Explosion of Information
~ Steven Kolins
The global infrustructure for sharing information has just gone through a profound and unprecedented lurch forward. In our pockets we carry a thousand times the information of the Library of Alexandria. And yet in our minds, we are years behind the present in our awareness of opportunities right in front of us.
~ Chad Jones
Have you ever wanted to learn Arabic but don't have years of time to devote to this very difficult task? What if you could spend a week in an intensive bootcamp and walk away having already read your first novel in Arabic?
Arabic and Persian Poetry: Ibn al-Faríd, Rúmí, and Bahá’u’lláh
~ Frank Lewis
Franklin Lewis will be presenting on poetry from Arabic and Persian poets. Frank is an Associate Professor of Persian Language and Literature, and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago with affiliations to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. He teaches classes on Persian language and literature, Islamic thought, Sufism, Baha'i Studies, translation studies, and Middle Eastern cinema.
Being Human: Bahá’í Perspective on Islam, Modernity, and Peace
~ Todd Lawson
Join us for a wonderful 3-day retreat with reknowned professor Todd Lawson who will be speaking about his recent book "Being Human". "Being Human" seeks to harmonize many contradictions and demonstrate how Baha'i teachings point the way toward peace and the reconciliation of all world religions.
Dawn-Breakers Challenge ~ 9 Events in 2020
~ Chad Jones
Please join us in Northern California in 2020 for a fun and intensive 10-day study of “The Dawn-Breakers” together with the primary doctrinal work of the Bahá'í Faith, “The Kitáb-i-Íqán.”
Discovering the Hidden Gems beneath the Ocean of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation
~ Shahrokh Monjazeb
Shahrokh Monjazeb will explore some of the less known yet important Works of Bahá'u'lláh from the three major periods of His Ministry.
Effective Mashriqu’l-Adhkár Teaching
~ Steve Sarowitz
Thousands of people every day visit Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs around the world, many just as tourists but many others with profound spiritual questions. A handful of guides is involved in anwering questions and stimulating curiosity in the souls these seekers. “Teaching in the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár” has broad applications for teaching anywhere in the world. Steve Sarowitz is the producer of the feature-length film, “The Gate: Dawn of the Bahá’í Faith”
~ Joshua Hall, Chad Jones
As a follow-up to the intensive Arabic program in May, this late-summer intensive Farsi program will use the same format to plunge the participants into literary Persian. As with the Arabic bootcamp, the mornings will be spent studying key tablets in Farsi (the Íqán, Seven Valleys etc.) while the afternoons will be spent immsersed in Farsi adventure stories to absorb vocabulary and grammar naturally.
New Atheism and Seeing with the Eye of God
~ Michael Sours Rohani
Michael (Sours) Rohani will be presenting on the strange assumptions which rise from a distinctly Christian "New Atheism" and the implications of Baha'u'llah's assertion of two distinct types of knowledge from the Kitáb-i-Íqán.
Persian Bayán, Panj-Sha’n and Kitáb-i-Íqán
~ Habib Riazati
As He lay confined within the walls of the castle, He devoted His time to the composition of the **Persian Bayán**, the most weighty, the most illuminating and comprehensive of all His works. In it He laid down the laws and precepts of His Dispensation, plainly and emphatically announced the advent of a subsequent Revelation, and persistently urged His followers to seek and find “Him whom God would make manifest,” warning them lest they allow the mysteries and allusions in the Bayán to interfere with their recognition of His Cause.
The Master’s Five Ways to Teach the Faith
~ Teresa Langness, David Langness
Abdu’l-Bahá devoted his entire life to teaching the Faith. He said: "O that I could travel, even though on foot and in the utmost poverty, to these regions, and, raising the call of "Ya Baha'u'l-Abha" in cities, villages, mountains, deserts and oceans, promote the divine teachings! This, alas, I cannot do. How intensely I deplore it! Please God, ye may achieve it."
The Tablets to The Hague
~ Dr Sima Quddusi
Dr Sima Quddusi will present on the Tablets to The Hague sent by 'Abdu'l-Baha (1919, 1920). These two letters of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá were written in response to letters addressed to Him by the Executive Committee of the Central Organization for a Durable Peace. These letters include a summation of the Bahá’í social teachings and a rebuttal to materalistic theories of progress, for example by asserting that man must unite spritiutally before political peace is possible, and that man must solve the economic problem voluntarily, rather than through the force of coercive law.
The Writings and the Worldview of the Báb
~ Nader Saiedi
Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Nader Saiedi examines the Báb’s major works in multifaceted context, explaining the unique theological system, mystical world view, and interpretive principles they embody as well as the rhetorical and symbolic uses of language through which the Báb radically transforms traditional concepts.
The Writings of Shoghi Effendi
~ Jack McLean
A Celestial Burning - the Writings of Shoghi Effendi. Jack will explore themes of his award-winning book on Shoghi Effendi. Including Shoghi Effendi's view of providential history as divine drama, his effective use of rhetoric, his views on morality and spirituality, his understanding of the emerging world order as a modern-day apocalypse, and it analyzes the style and patterns that emerge from his epistolary prose.
Topical Overview of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas
~ Nabil Fares, Azadeh Mohandessi-Fares
The Kitáb-i-Aqdas ranks among the formost treasures of Bahá’u’lláh's vast revelation. It “stands out, by virtue of the principles it inculcates, the administrative institutions it ordains and the function with which it invests the appointed Successor of its Author, unique and incomparable among the world’s sacred Scriptures.” Nabil is a native speaker in Arabic, and Azadeh is a native speaker in Persian. They have been working together in English for decades, sharing the wonders of The Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
Women in Zoroastrianism and Islam
~ Susan Maneck
Susan is an expert in near-eastern history and will be presenting on a very challenging topic: “The role of women in Zoroastrianism and Islam”. The patriarchal nature of the period makes it especially challenging to isolate the specific influence of great women so this will be an illuminating opportunity for participants.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to North America
~ Robert Stockman
‘Abdu’l-Bahá in America recounts the journey of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the eldest son of Bahá’u’lláh and appointed head of the Bahá’í Faith after his father's passing, across much of the United States in 1912. His exhausting yet exhilarating 239-day trek from coast to coast took him to fifty cities and towns, where he delivered up to four talks a day -- about four hundred total -- to approximately 93,000 people on Bahá’u’lláh’s message of the oneness of humanity and the principles of universal peace.