|Calendar of all sessions See other session #53 material: Info Papers Program|
Irfán Colloquium #53
|Persian Bayán, The: Form and Content (themes)|
Presented by Muin Afnani
‘Abdu'l-Bahá's Commentary on the Islamic Tradition of “Hidden Treasure” (Kuntu Kanz): Historical Background
Presented by Muin Afnani
‘Abdu'l-Bahá's Tablet of the Universe - Aflákiyyih
Presented by Muin Afnani
Life and Times of August Forel, The
Presented by Sheila Banani [click here to read this paper online]
Swiss psychiatrist and entomologist, Dr. August Henri Forel, was the recipient of one of the most famous and well-studied Tablets from ‘Abduíl-Bahá on the subject of the existence of God and the immortality of the soul, written in the last weeks of ‘Abduíl-Baháís life. Dr. Forel had sent a letter to ‘Abduíl-Bahá explaining his own points of view and asking if he might still be accepted as a Bahá'i. Several scholarly examinations and commentaries on ‘Abduíl-Baháís Tablet have been made, however awareness among the Bahá'is of who was August Forel is more limited.
Interpretation of the Opening Words of the Qurían: A Comparative Study of the Islamic, Babi and Bahá'i Commentaries on “Bismillih”
Presented by Ghasem Bayat
Review of the Bahá'í Writings on the Concept of Reincarnation, A
Presented by Sateh Bayat and Vafa Bayat [click here to read this paper online]
Belief in reincarnation, that is, the return of man's spirit or some aspects of his reality to the material world after death, has risen from 21% to 25% in the U.S. over the past decade. Believers in this concept are now found amongst the adherents of most religions and even among non-religionists.
Textual Resurrection: Book, Imam, and Cosmos in the Qur'án Commentaries of the Báb
Presented by J. Vahid Brown [click here to read this paper online]
The Báb was a strong reader - some would say a strange reader - of the canonical texts of Islam. The bulk of his earliest writings were in the form of commentaries on these texts. In my presentation, I will discuss the radical notions of textuality underlying the Báb's Qur'ánic commentaries. Drawing upon categories from contemporary literary studies, I will first provide a framework for my discussion of textuality. I will then discuss the history of Qur'ánic commentary in Islam in light of these categories, focusing on elements in Akhbári Shi'i religious thought that can be seen to underpin the Bab's novel approach to the Qur'ánic text. Far from being traditional commentaries, I will argue, the Báb's readings of the Qur'án were messianic performances, enunciations of an eschatological restoration of the Imam, the cosmos, and of the Qur'án itself.
Abdu'l-Bahá's Commentary on the “Hidden Treasure”
Presented by Mozhan Khadem
True of Thyself: Firstness and Lastness, Outwardness and Inwardness (Ken Wilber's Integral Philosophy seen in the light of Bahá'u'lláh's mystical writings)
Presented by Wolfgang Klebel [click here to read this paper online]
Ontology: A Basic Survey, Explications and Commentary
Presented by Ian Kluge [click here to read this paper online]
Like the sacred scripture of all religions, the Bahá'i Writings embody an ontology, that is, they contain teachings about the nature of what exists and the structure of reality. This paper is an initial survey and explication of the ontology implicit in the Writings. It pays special attention to the nature of human existence, that is, to nature of specifically human be-ing. In pursuing these goals, this paper will make a number of observations about the Bahá'i Writings and the philosophy of Nietzsche and some of his modern successors.
Prophetology in the Baháíi Faith and the Three Other Monotheistic Religions: A Comparative Approach
Presented by Fiona Missaghian
Prophetology is an essential part in the theology of each of the four monotheistic religions. It deals with the unique nature, relevance, and credibility of the prophet as such, however also with the distinguishing features between previous and current prophets. We will base our research on the Holy Writings of each tradition and different interpretations of these.
Abdu'l-Bahá's "Tablet of the Two Calls"
Presented by Manooher Mofidi
The earth seemed unearthly. We were accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there--there you could look at a thing monstrous and free. It was unearthly, and the men were--No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it--this suspicion of their not being inhuman. It would come slowly to one. They howled and leaped, and spun, and made horrid faces; but what thrilled you was just the thought of their humanity--like yours--the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough; but if you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise, a dim suspicion of there being a meaning in it which you--you so remote from the night of first ages--could comprehend. And why not? The mind of man is capable of anything--because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future.The immortal words of Marlow, the narrator in Joseph Conrad's enduring classic, Heart of Darkness, as he journeys deep into the unknown, the darkness, to retrieve Kurtz, at one time civilization personified, but now the embodiment of crassness, avarice, barbarity.
Signs of Prophethood: An exposition on a Tablet by ‘Abdu'l-Bahá
Presented by James B. Thomas [click here to read this paper online]
In a rather short but particularly moving and powerful tablet ‘Abdu'l-Bahá defines a series of signs that show incontrovertible evidence of the Lord of Hosts. In a compressed form they cover a vast array of proofs as they apply to the reality of a Divine Messenger in the person of Bahá'u'lláh. This paper elaborates upon the ramifications of the extraordinary evidence of the signs of a Manifestation of God as articulated by ‘Abdu'l-Bahá in that tablet and is corroborated with exerpts from the Dalail-i-Sabíih (The Seven Proofs) by the Bab. It is also reinforced by Bahá'u'llah in the Kitab-i-Iqan and additional comments by ‘Abduíl-Bahá in Some Answered Questions.