On the occasion of the Twin Holy Days, the Universal House of Justice has joyously announced that the Office of Social and Economic Development at the Baha’i World Centre has blossomed into a new global institution: the Baha’i International Development Organization. This organization will assist development work occurring and emerging around the planet. Continue reading
In 1995 the Baha’i International Community’s Office of Public Information, in Haifa, prepared a statement entitled The Prosperity of Humankind that was distributed for the first time at the United Nations World Summit on Social Development in Copenhagen. The statement, based on insights derived from the Baha’i Writings and an analysis of contemporary society, shares some important concepts and principles for building a strategy for global development. I truly loved reading it and thought of sharing my personal views on the statement in the hope it motivates others to study it if you have not done so yet (in can be read in full online or downloaded from the Baha’i Reference Library). Continue reading
The Five Year Plan 2011-2016: Summary of Achievements and Learning has recently been launched as a free digital publication. Prepared under the supervision of the International Teaching Centre, this helpful document charts the development of the Baha’i worldwide community and it illustrates examples of the new culture Baha’is are developing around the world. It shares, among many other themes, what we have learned about releasing the potential of youth, enhancing institutional capacity, and establishing Houses of Worship. It discusses developments at the Baha’i World Centre, social action initiatives and instances where Baha’is have participated in the discourses of society.
Reading about the achievements of Baha’is and their friends all over the world can help inspire and inform your current and future services.
A unique Baha’i book is now available! It’s called The Dynamics of Growth: Scientific Principles at Work in the Worldwide Advancement of the Baha’i Faith. This study, written by Jena Khadem Khodadad, offers a novel perspective: it looks at growth in the Baha’i community using scientific principles. It is a book that marries, in its very content, science and religion.
A book like this does not come along every day, so I was very curious to find out more. Thankfully, Jena Khadem Khodadad kindly agreed to be interviewed. Here’s what she shared with us:
Baha’i Blog: Thank you, Jena, for chatting with us! To begin, could you please tell us a little about yourself and your work as a scientist?
My doctoral degree is in biological sciences (cell and molecular biology) from Northwestern University. My academic career as faculty of Rush (Chicago) medical college has centered on teaching cell biology and neuroscience to medical and graduate students and research on the molecular structure and properties of biological membranes. I have presented the results of my research at national and international scientific forums and published in scientific journals. A diversity of other areas of study interest me, among them: religion and spirituality, neuroscience of consciousness, philosophy of science and philosophy of religion, and interfaith understanding.
As an individual fortunate enough to have been raised with both the material comforts of the United States as well as the spiritual teachings of the Baha’i Faith, I often think about the relationship between wealth, poverty, and spirituality.
A number of questions naturally arise when considering this: Are wealth and material development important, or simply a distraction from spiritual development? Is it wrong for me to enjoy physical comfort and material prosperity? Is choosing to renounce the material advancement of the West, for example, by moving to a less developed part of the world a noble sacrifice or an unnecessary infliction of physical suffering upon oneself?