|Calendar of all sessions See other session #54 material: Info Report Papers Program|
Irfán Colloquium #54 (English)
Institute of Commonwealth Studies: London, EnglandJuly 2-4, 2004.
|Three sessions of the 'Irfán Colloquium in English, Persian and German were respectively held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London University, 2-4 July; Acuto Center for Bahá'i Studies, Italy, 7-13 July; and Tambach Seminar Center, Berghotel, Tambach, Germany. A total of about 180 friends from twenty countries participated at these gatherings that included 38 scholarly presentations on topics mostly related to the Writings of the Baba and 'Abdu'l-Bahá.|
'Irfán Colloquium in English was held together with the annual conference of the Association of Bahá'i Studies (English Speaking Europe). Two non-Bahá'i presenters participated at this program. Professor Moshe Sharon of Jerusalem University in Israel made a presentation on his translation of the Book of Aqdas into Hebrew. Dr. Bruce Wannell presented a detailed and well-researched paper on the background and history of the commentaries on the famous tradition (Hadith) of Kuntu Kanz. Other topics presented included some of the Writings of the Báb and 'Abdu'l-Bahá as well as subjects related to the social teachings of the Bahá'i Faith.
The Persian 'Irfán Colloquium was a historic event. For the first time a group of 12 believers from Iran including eight young Bahá'i scholars participated at that gathering. Papers presented by the young Bahá'i friends from Iran who were graduates of the Institute of Advanced Bahá'i Studies were highly appraised as best examples of Bahá'i scholarship and among the very best presentations ever made at the 'Irfán Colloquium. Participation of these dear friends from Iran was made possible through financial support provided by the 'Irfán memorial funds, the persistent and effective efforts of the Office of External Affairs of the national Spiritual Assembly of the Bahámas of Italy and sincere collaboration of the "Friends of Iran." It is hoped that an arrangement may made with the Friends of Iran in order to make it possible for small groups of Bahá'i scholars and other believers form Iran to participate at the 'Irfán Colloquium in future as well.
The German 'Irfán Colloquium was held for the second consecutive year. It proved to be sufficiently consolidated to be continued as an ongoing activity for the German speaking Bahá'is. In addition to the German speaking countries in Europe it is hoped that other German speaking Bahá'is may gradually be attracted to participate at this program. A new series of 'Irfán publications was launched by the publication of the first volume of the collection of papers presented at the 'Irfán Colloquium in German. It was published by Bahá'i Verlag under the title of Beitraege der 'Irfán Colloquiums 2003.
'Irfán publications in 2004 included booklets containing the programs and abstracts of the presentations in each language as well as The Lights of 'Irfán, Book Five; Safiniy-i-'Irfán, Book Seven, the above book in German and "Images of Christ in the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá", an occasional paper presented at the 'Irfán Colloquium in 2003.
The most striking features of the 'Irfán Colloquiums in 2004 were the rapid increase of the number of young Bahá'i participants, a sharp increase in the number of women and young Bahá'is as paper presenters. These new trends are most promising and hope to be continuing in the years to come. We are now looking forward to the seven 'Irfán Colloquia scheduled to be held in 2005.