Can War be Eliminated?

Photo: Sergeant Steve Blake RLC (Phot) via Flickr.

Photo: Sergeant Steve Blake RLC (Phot) via Flickr.

One of the key goals of the Baha’i Faith is to help end war and achieve world peace. While this has also been the goal of many thinkers throughout history, thousands continue to die each year from war and its consequences. So what do the Baha’i Writings say about this issue?

To answer this, I use a framework developed by Kenneth Waltz in his classic text Man, the State and War, which begins by asking: “What causes war?” This is an important question because, just as one must understand cancer to cure it, war and its causes must be understood in order to reduce it. In his review of the literature on this question, Waltz finds that there are basically three answers to this question, which he calls “the three images”. These images claim that war is caused by: Continue reading

Take the Baha’i Blog Survey and tell us what you think!

yuong stylish hipster man using tabletHello Baha’i Blog readers!

We’ve been online now for over three years and we’d really like to hear from you to get your thoughts and feedback on the blog.

So far we’ve published 340 posts and have readership in 226 countries and territories and we’re growing every day! We really appreciate all your support and it would mean a lot to us if you would participate in a short survey we’ve put together.

The survey is completely confidential and after we have anonymized all responses we will post a short summary of the results, as we’re sure you will all be interested in the insights it offers!


NOTE: The Survey has now closed but feel free to let us know what you think in the comments section below or by emailing us at: editor@bahaiblog.net

A big thankyou to everyone who participated in this survey!


New Book: Spiritual Mothering – Toward an Ever-Advancing Civilization

Spiritual Mothering cover 350x543Spiritual Mothering: Toward an Ever-Advancing Civilization is new publication compiled and edited by Rene Knight-Weiler.

The book is composed of articles that were published in a magazine called Spiritual Mothering Journal that circulated for 10 years in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Its topics are diverse – from more meditative pieces about the daily struggles and victories of motherhood to concrete step-by-step articles about sibling conflict resolution – and its contributors from around the world vary in their perspectives and writing styles (they are primarily, but not soley, Baha’i).

Rene Knight-Weiler writes, “what all these authors have in common is a love of children, a love of writing and a wealth of ability in both arenas. The wisdom they offer is not limited to one generation. It is timeless, just like parenthood itself.” Continue reading

New Universal House of Justice Letter Regarding Progress of New Baha’i Houses of Worship

placeit Universal House of Justice Letter Regarding New Baha'i Houses of WorshipThe Universal House of Justice has just sent an exciting new letter to the Baha’i world community on August 1st, 2014, about the progress of the seven new Baha’i Houses of Worship scheduled to be built over the next several years.

The Universal House of Justice wrote:

Over two years have elapsed since our announcement at Ridvan 2012 of projects to raise two national and five local Houses of Worship, to be pursued in conjunction with the construction in Santiago, Chile, of the last of the continental Mashriqu’l-Adhkars.

Baha’i Houses of Worship are sometimes referred to as “Baha’i Temples” or by the name of “Mashriqu’l-Adhkar” which in Arabic means “Dawning-place of the remembrances of God”, and there are currently seven Houses of worship in the world today located in the nations of Panama, Uganda, the United States of America, Samoa, Australia, India and Germany, with an eighth one currently under construction in Chile. Continue reading

Looking at Baha’i Scholarship

Looking at Baha'i ScholarshipWhen we try to define Baha’i scholarship, we naturally encounter preconceptions from our cultural surroundings. These arise from how scholarship has affected us over our varied histories of colonisation, conquest, enlightenment, enslavement, liberation, revolution, and materialistic consumerism. Scholarship, in part, refers to the systematic and disciplined study of any subject with the goal of deeper and shared understanding, and has often included appropriate personal characteristics, though these vary by culture and era.

Scholarship starts with assumptions about reality, which it simultaneously tests and pursues by a strict, but ideally not narrowing, set of rules. If done in the spirit of uncovering more of the mysteries of reality with a mix of humility and wonder, its results are ever-changing and open to challenge. It is worth identifying, unedited, our private lists of qualities and processes we ascribe to scholarship before considering scholarship in light of the Faith’s Teachings. In a workshop at the 2013 conference of the Association for Baha’i Studies, such an exercise revealed a fascinating list of praise, contempt, hope, and frustration, often from the same person, and from scholars, themselves. Continue reading

Why is the Baha’i World Centre in Israel?

Pictured to the right is the Seat of the Universal House of Justice and on the left is the International Teaching Centre building. Both are located on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, Israel. (Photo: Iain Simmons via Flickr)

Pictured to the right is the Seat of the Universal House of Justice and on the left is the International Teaching Centre building. Both are located on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, Israel. (Photo: Iain Simmons via Flickr)

For centuries, the Holy Land has been recognised as sacred for Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Moses and Jesus established their religions there, and Muhammad visited on His night journey and ascension.

But how did this land on the shores of the Mediterranean come to be associated with the Baha’i Faith, a religion born in Persia, more than 1500 kilometers away? Continue reading

Faizi – A New Book about the Life of Hand of the Cause Abu’l-Qásim Faizi

Faizi - May Faizi-Moore 360x549When I was about four years old a very special person visited our home in Papua New Guinea and met with the Baha’i community. I recall my parents being so enamoured with him, and like so many of the Baha’is who met him, they were taken by his wisdom, his humor and his humility.

The visitor was Hand of the Cause Abu’l-Qásim Faizi.

I was actually even named after his son Naysan, and my parents were just one example of the many Baha’is everywhere who loved him. I actually have a picture with Mr. Faizi from that time and I wish that I was older and could have known him, so whenever I would hear stories about him, I would listen attentively, so the moment I saw the release of a new book entitled Faizi by his daughter May Faizi-Moore, I bought a copy straight away!

I managed to get in touch with May Faizi-Moore to ask her some questions about this wonderful new biography about her father:
Continue reading

New Letter from the Universal House of Justice regarding the Baha’i Calendar

Universal House of Justice letter regarding Badi Calendar 864x648In a new letter dated July 10, 2014, The Universal House of Justice has called upon the Baha’is of the world to universally adopt the Baha’i calendar — known as the Badi calendar — effective from the upcoming Naw-Ruz.

Rather than paraphrase or quote certain parts of the letter, I’ve decided it would be best to include this significant and exciting new letter below. The letter can also be viewed on the official website of the Universal House of Justice here.

Here is the letter: Continue reading

The Bab – What was He like?

green background abstract cloth wavy folds of textile textureAs Baha’is around the world gather on 9 July, they will focus on the Bab’s martyrdom in Tabriz in 1850, ponder its spiritual significance, and offer their supplications to the Divine.

On that holy day commemorating the horrendous event of His execution, it is also probable that many will wonder what it would have been like to encounter the One who was the Prophet-Forerunner of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith. Continue reading