Prophetology in the Baháíi Faith and the Three Other Monotheistic Religions:
A Comparative Approach

By Fiona Missaghian

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #53
Bosch Bahá'í School: California, USA
May 27–30, 2004
(see list of papers from #53)

    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.

    After outlining the distinctive features of the prophet as understood by the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, we will focus on the teachings of the Bah_'_ Faith about prophet- and manifestationhood. It will be shown to what extent there are similarities between Baháíi theology and that of previous religions and where the former offers unique and deeper insights into the topic. We will focus in particular on ideas of God-likeness versus human-likeness, and infallibility.

    In the case of the Bah_'_ Faith, scholars have preferred the terminology "concept of manifestation" or theophanology instead of prophetology. Time-permitting, we shall see why this is the case and discuss the terms.

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