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July 17, 2017

Wilmette Institute signs agreement with the United Theological Seminary

Wilmette Institute, June 30, 2017.

On June 13, 2017, the Wilmette Institute completed an articulation agreement with the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities (UTS), located in New Brighton, Minnesota. The agreement allows seminary students to take a group of core courses on the Bahai Faith for graduate credit. These include:

Bahai History, 1844–Present (HS 305)
The Bahai Faith, a Comprehensive Introduction (RL 370)
Bahai Theology: Concepts of God, Revelation, Manifestation, Creation, Humanity, Covenant, and Afterlife (PT390)
The Bahai Faith and Social Change (SC 305)
Bahai Institutions, the Community, and the Individual (CA 342)
Baha’u’llah’s Revelation, a Systematic Survey (ST331).

Other courses can be included as arranged. Two students have already signed up for ST 340: Introduction to the Kitab-e Iqan, Baha’u’llah’s second most important work.

The United Theological Seminary will include the Wilmette Institute’s core courses in its catalog and will list a group of Wilmette Institute faculty as UTS adjunct faculty. UTS will reimburse the Wilmette Institute for its tuition costs. Bahai students have two options. They can register as special students with UTS, pay UTS tuition, and take individual Wilmette Institute courses for credit. Or they can consider three Master’s degree options that UTS has designed: a Master of Divinity in Interfaith Chaplaincy, a Master of Arts in Leadership for Social Transformation, and a Master of Arts in Religion. All three professional degrees can include up to six courses on the Bahai Faith, and, because UTS is an accredited institution of higher education, its students are eligible for student loans and other financial aid. The Master of Arts degree is available only online, and the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Leadership in hybrid/online format. An interfaith chaplaincy degree qualifies one to serve as a chaplain in hospitals and prisons and in the military. Such a profession is a remarkable opportunity for Bahais to serve the spiritual needs of people in challenging personal circumstances. It does not require ordination as clergy.

Now that graduate study involving significant Bahai content is possible through UTS, it will be much easier for the Wilmette Institute to help students arrange for credit for Wilmette Institute courses from other universities. The Institute hopes that Bahai undergraduates will take advantage of this new opportunity to include one or more Bahai courses as part of their Bachelor’s degrees.

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Afnan library online collection opened to the public

Editorial, July 17, 2017.

The Afnan library has announced the opening of its online collection, including the 99 volumes of the Iranian National Bahai Archives. The works available now include:

English and other European-language publications (books and journals (the latter being ‘The Dawn,’ an important journal containing hitherto unnoticed translations by Shoghi Effendi).

Unpublished English language manuscripts (academic theses)- 1 item

Persian and Arabic publications (4 books and 2 journals)

Persian and Arabic manuscripts, being the very important INBA series (99 volumes plus indexes), and other materials are promised.

There are also categories of “English and other European-language unpublished papers” and “other materials” which have no content yet. News about the Afnan Library will continue to be published on their Facebook page.

September 28, 2016

Provisional translations of two significant works of Baha’u’llah

Adib Masumian(blog), September 25, 2016.

Adib Masumian has posted his provisional translations of two significant works of Baha’u’llah, the Five treasures and the Tablet of the Paradise of Justice. The “five treasures” is a record of the words of Baha’u’llah, as heard by Nabil-e Zarandi, and is therefore classified as a pilgrim’s note, but one of great interest which is now made available to English readers. The Tablet of the Paradise of Justice is a longer work, three sections of which had previously been translated by Shoghi Effendi. They have some themes in common: the Five Treasures says:

Dost thou know what My purpose is in having come to this world and in proclaiming My Cause amongst the peoples? I will say it that thou shalt know. I have come to establish openly—through the strength and power of God—justice, protection, trustworthiness, and piety in every corner of this world, which is so replete with defilement—and in which the oppression of the oppressors and the treachery of the treacherous have sealed shut the door of tranquility to all creation …

and in the Paradise of Justice we read:

O thou this name! Pride thyself in this, that We have made thee the dawning-place of Our justice amidst all people. The day is approaching when We shall raise up manifestations of thee upon the earth, through whom We shall roll up the standard of oppression and unfurl the banner of justice between the heavens and the earth. It is through them that God shall blot out every trace of injustice from the earth, and adorn the whole of creation in every land with these names. All beings, both seen and unseen, shall rejoice at their advent, for They are the mirrors of My justice amidst My servants, and the daysprings of My names amidst My creation. Through them, the hands of oppression shall be severed, and the arms of command strengthened.

For a list of Adib Masumian’s translations of Bahai Writings, see this page.

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October 27, 2013

Passing of Dr. Ahang Rabbani

Editorial, October 27, 2013

Dr. Ahang Rabbani, a celebrated and prolific Bahai scholar, died in Texas, at 5.30 am on October 26, 2013, following a long battle with cancer. He was just 57 years old. He is survived by his wife, Tahirih Baker-Rabbani, his sons Bayan and Tebyan Rabbani, his sisters Ranneh Kayfan and Naghmeh (Melody) Astani, with whom he co-authored some of his many publications, and an extended family. The funeral will take place Friday November 1st at 11.30 a.m. at the Calvary Hill Funeral Home in Houston.

The following tribute was composed by a number of his friends and colleagues in the field of Bahai Studies:

Ahang Rabbani was a member of two online scholarly communities: Tarikh, a listserver for those interested in Bahá’í history, and Tarjuman, a listserver devoted to translation of Bahá’í scriptural and historical texts. Both communities were deeply saddened and grieved by the news of his passing, because Ahang was instrumental in starting them up and was a central member of both. He often commented about drafts of translations or articles and very generously offered many of his own for collective discussion and improvement. All of us were immensely impressed by his energy and his prodigious output of translations, both of sacred texts and historical materials. An independent scholar, he has enriched and increased access to the revelation and to the sources of Bahá’í history for the English speaking friends, a significant contribution that will be remembered by historians and academics for years to come. He also was a founding member of the Texas chapter of the Association for Bahá’í Studies. There were many notable online tributes. One friend said that his passing “is a great loss to all of us and to Baha’i scholarship in general.” Another said that Ahang “pushed me to translate, in collaboration with his own energetic self . . . Ahang provided the oomph for me to persevere, to get going, not to stop … He was thousands of miles away and yet he was prodding me to accelerate, not to procrastinate, not to feel inept and useless.” A third contributor said, “His presence is simply irreplaceable. I will miss him dearly, and hope that one day I will have the honor and pleasure of meeting him again in the Abha Kingdom.

The Tarikh and Tarjuman communities grieve his loss, pray for his soul’s progress, and beg his continued assistance in their endeavors from the great beyond.

We dare not, in this Day, lift the veil that concealeth the exalted station which every true believer can attain …. By the righteousness of the one true God! The very breath of these souls is in itself richer than all the treasures of the earth. Happy is the man that hath attained thereunto, and woe betide the heedless. (Gleanings, VI, pp. 9-10)

Please feel free to use the comments section below for your personal tributes and reminiscences.

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July 29, 2013

Passing of Dr. Amin Banani

Filed under: Bahai community — Sen @ 21:49
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Baha’is of Santa Monica, July 28, 2013

Professor Amin Banani, a scholar of Persian and of the Bahai Faith, author and translator, Knight of Baha’u’llah and son of Hand of the Cause Musa Banani, passed away Sunday, July 28, 2013. A selection of his works can be seen on his web page. The University of California – LA’s “In Memoriam” is now online (July 30).

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