`Abdu'l-Bahá and the Peace Movement in America

By Amin Egea

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #118
Centre for Bahá'í Studies: Acuto, Italy
June 30 – July 4, 2013
(see list of papers from #118)

    'Abdu'l-Bahá defined as one of the purposes of His travels in the West the establishment of "the spiritual foundations of international peace." During this period He personally met with various leaders of the peace movement such as Edward Carnegie, David Starr Jordan, William H. Short, Albert K. Smiley or the Nobel prized Baroness von Suttner. He was also invited to participate in various peace conferences such as the Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration and some organizations arranged special public meetings for Him.

    This presentation will attempt to survey these contacts between `Abdu'l-Bahá and the peace organizations in the West. It will also offer a preliminary comparison of `Abdu'l-Bahá's discourse on war, peace and international arbitration with the prevalent discourses at the time on these areas, and will finally offer a tentative analysis of how His comments on these topics were received by the western public.

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