Content and Context in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas

By Habib Riazati

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #24
Louhelen Bahá'í School: Michigan, USA
October 8–12, 1999
(see list of papers from #24)

Next presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #34
Bosch Bahá'í School: California, USA
May 18–20, 2001
(see list of papers from #34)

    The divine laws and ordinances could be studied from various angles and by using different approaches. Such studies may cover interrelationships (of the laws), comparison (with specific religion, a number of religions, civic laws, or cultural practices), historical and/or chronological background, developmental processes in their revelation and in their application, content analysis, categorization, justification, socio-cultural settings, impacts on various aspects of individual and societal life, institution building powers, creative and/or prophetic nature, and so on.

    In this presentation the relationship of content and context as they apply to the laws and ordinances will be discussed. Subjects such as the universality of the Message of the Manifestations of God and their organic nature and gradual development, both within a religion and throughout history, will be considered. Finally, the cohesive aspect of the revelation coupled with various needs of mankind as a function of Time and Space will be presented. The main objective will be to clarify the mutual impacts of content and context in comprehension, appreciation and implementation of the laws and ordinances under specific prevailing conditions.

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