Concept of Politics in 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Treatise on Politics, The

By Farhad Sabetan

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #123
Bosch Baha'i School: Santa Cruz, CA
May 22–25, 2014
(see list of papers from #123)

    This presentation aims at exploring 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Treatise on Politics, which was written in the latter part of the 19th century. Circumstances leading to the writing of this treatise are examined and various themes discussed therein are explored. In particular, the presentation focuses on 'Abdu'l-Bahá's clear enunciation of the separation of church and state and its implications. An attempt is made to examine the historical context to which 'Abdu'l-Bahá makes reference in support of the main theme of the treatise. Moreover, 'Abdu'l-Bahá's philosophical foundations of this principle are examined. Based on the topics covered in this treatise, the meaning and implications of the principle of non-involvement in politics is thoroughly investigated, especially as it relates to other authorities Bahá'í­ writings expounding on the same theme. It is concluded that the principle of non-involvement in politics has essentially remained the same between the writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá up to more current elucidations and guidance of the Universal House of Justice.

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