The Fragility of Goodness:
Hexis and Praxis in the Historical Figure of `Abdu'l-Bahá

By Shahbaz Fatheazam

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #102
Bosch Baha'i School: Santa Cruz, California, USA
May 18–22, 2011
(see list of papers from #102)

published in Lights of Irfan, volume 13, pages 1-21
© 2012, ‘Irfán Colloquia

    This paper seeks to understand how internal goodness of character or soul may be preserved from interference from the world and how character (hexis) and activity (práxis) may survive the sobering perspective of immense moral failure on the part of a considerable portion of humankind and of its leadership. Such apparent betrayal or dismissal of poetic action as of any practical value is examined through literature and the lessons of `Abdu'l-Bahá' in His travels to the West. The conclusion drawn from these sources will attempt to show that good character engaged in social action is of sufficient serious practical importance so as to be able to withstand the stikes made at the root of goodness itself despite the fact that character and activity are intimately connected and therefore vulnerable.

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