Towards Building a Teaching Strategy:
Abdul-Bahá's Public Addresses in the West

By Vargha Taefi

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #104
Centre for Bahá'í Studies: Acuto, Italy
July 9–12, 2011
(see list of papers from #104)

    In His public addresses in the West, our Beloved Master has clearly set before us an example1of a teaching strategy.

    In this paper we try to use our analysis of `Abdul-Bahá's language when speaking to various types of audience, level of emphasis on common views or differences, description of the Bahá'í Faith, His usage of certain notions, methods of popularising Bahá'í principles, His types of logic and argumentation, exclusivism or inclusivism, length of His conversations, application of wisdom in His approach, level of attentiveness or passiveness in His intercourse, degree of generality or specificity, liberalism or conservatism, cautiousness or abruptness, passion or soberness in the content of His utterances and arguments, confidence or doubt in His tone, solidity and steadfastness, or weakness and instability in His conviction, and dignity in His manners when presenting the Cause to the public in the West, 2 in order to draw insights in raising our capacity for service, 3 and to identify the elements of success for our teaching strategy, particularly in unfamiliar settings and with dissimilar and heterogeneous audience.

      1. Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. 1, p. 206.
      2. Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i Administration, pp. 69-70.
      3. The Universal House of Justice, 29 August 2010.

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