Exploration of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Address to Stanford University

By Vafa Bayat

Presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #137
Bosch Baha'i School: Santa Cruz, CA
May 26–30, 2016
(see list of papers from #137)


    At the invitation of David Starr Jordan, the president of Stanford University, who had for the first time in history, and since, closed the university so that all might be able to attend, `Abdu'l-Bahá gave a talk in which he discussed several important themes including the importance of scientific discovery and universal peace. President Jordan was reported to have said in relation to `Abdu'l-Bahá's visit and talk that He "will surely unite the East and West for he treads the mystic way with practical feet." `Abdu'l-Bahá's talk was subsequently published in many prominent newspapers of the day. He often exhorted the friends to study it and even memorize it for their education and teaching efforts. In light of this, we have undertaken a detailed exploration of the key points of this talk in its appropriate historical context and in relation to passages from `Abdu'l-Bahá's other talks and the Sacred Writings of the Faith.

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