December 2012 eNewsletter


Video Conferencing Comes to the Wilmette Institute

In November the Wilmette Institute added video conferencing to its courses--with much more to come.

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Education Under Fire: Creative Showings and Conversations

Read about simple ways in which Bah�'�s have been sharing the story of the plight of Bah�'� students in Iran.

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Call for Papers for 2013 'Irf�n Colloquiums

The golden jubilee of the establishment of the Universal House of Justice in 1963 is the topic for three 'Irf�n Colloquiums planned for 2013.

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Wilmette Institute Faculty Support Bah�'� Presence at American Academy of Religion

A book display, a colloquy, and a tour of the Bah�'� House of Worship in Wilmette mark the Bah�'� presence at the American Academy of Religion for the twenty-sixth year and provide opportunities for public discourse.

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Wilmette Institute Courses Move to a Dedicated Hosting Service

Read about Classroom Revolution, the Wilmette Institute's new dedicated hosting service.

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Louis G. Gregory Bah�'� Museum: Calling You from Charleston, South Carolina

Take a virtual tour of the first Bah�'� museum in the United States

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Save These Dates!
An updated list of upcoming academic conferences.
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Social Media
Facebook and Twitter Discounts
If you could use a discount on your next Wilmette Institute course, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We are offering discount codes for 10 or even 20 percent for selected courses via those two social media.

Service Opportunities at National Bah�'� Schools

See for paid opportunities to serve at Bosch, Green Acre, and Louhelen Bah�'� schools.


Stanford University Libraries Acquire Large Bah�'� Collection

In November Stanford University libraries established the first academic, university-based Bah�'� collection in the United States with a large donation from Jack H. and Arden T. Lee, who also established a fund to ensure that that the collection of archival materials will continue to grow. See 


Award-Winning Iranian Film on Religion, Violence, and Bah�'� Teachings on the Subject

View an unusual film, filmed in Haifa and Jerusalem, that explores the positive and negative effects of religion in society.

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Our Students Speak Up  


The Bah�'� Faith and the Arts: A Huge Impact

Seven students share life-altering decisions they took while enrolled in the new course called The Bah�'� Faith and the Arts.

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Faculty News   

The Names of the Bah�'� Months: Separating Fact from Fiction

Dr. Moojan Momen, faculty for a course on The Writings of the B�b, explains the origins of the names of the Bah�'� months in the Bah�'� calendar.

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Many Social Spaces under One Roof: Taking Part in the "Cambridge Conversations"

Barney Leith, faculty in a course on Social Action and Public Discourse, reports on his participation in "Cambridge Conversations," aimed at public-policy discussions about reshaping British society and reflects on the challenges of participating in social action and public discourse.

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Mark Your Calendar
March 1 - April 18, 2013

March 5 - April 23, 2013


March 10 - April 28, 2013

How to Study the Bah�'� Writings


March 20 - May 7, 2013
May - October 2013 Course Schedule


Below is the Wilmette Institute's course schedule for May through October 2013. Starting dates may change, based on faculty availability.  


Introduction to Shi'ism

Exploring the Tanakh/Old Testament

International Development and the Bah�'� Faith 


Social Action and Public Discourse 

The Bah�'� Faith: A Comprehensive Introduction



Zoroastrianism for Deepening and Dialogue



World Federation: The Time Has Come





Exploring the Qur'�n

The Advancement of Women

Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind  


Judaism for Deepening and Dialogue

One Common Faith    


December 2012 - February 2013 Courses

Bah�'� Theology

Lead Faculty: Ian Kluge
Faculty: Wolfgang Klebel

Duration of course: Three months (December 1, 2012 - February 28, 2013)

candle reflection This course on Bah�'� theology (the study of God and creation and of the relationship between them) provides an in-depth study of many of the fundamental spiritual teachings of the Bah�'� Faith. The units are organized around a series of questions we all ask from time to time: Who am I (what is the nature of human nature)? How do I know (epistemology, or the study of the nature and grounds of knowledge)? Whom can I trust to guide me (the nature of Manifestations of God and their revelations)? What is the structure of reality (ontology, or the study of the nature and relations of being)? Where do I come from (creation and evolution)? Where are we going (an ever-advancing species and our eternal souls)? What is expected of me (my religious life)? What is freedom and what are the consequences (free will, reward, punishment)? What difference does it make (theology in action)? This course is ideal for seekers and new believers, as well as for veteran Bah�'�s who want to delve more deeply into the teachings.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

The Secret of Divine Civilization

Lead Faculty: Necati Alkan
Faculty: Ed DiLiberto

Duration of course: Seven weeks (December 15, 2012 - January 31, 2013)

In this course we will study `Abdu'l-Bah�'s work The Secret of Divine Civilization, the first extensive description of Bah�'� social teachings, reading it slowly over a period of weeks. Elaborating on principles that Bah�'u'll�h enunciated in His tablets to kings and leaders of the world, the treatise describes the true nature of civilization and provides a blueprint for the "future reorganization of the world." To develop the theme of universal peace, honest government, and religion as the true bases of world order, `Abdu'l-Bah� redefines the Islamic tradition that a learned person "must guard himself, defend his faith, oppose his passions and obey the commandments of his Lord." Leaders, in particular, are called to a new standard of honesty and trustworthiness, a theme of particular interest during any election cycle. This course will thus look at the complementary processes of personal transformation and social development, leading to a reorganization of the world. It will also examine the book as an early example of public discourse and consider how we can use it to improve our own efforts in public discourse.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

Lead Faculty: Hussein Ashchi
Faculty: Chris Buck

Duration of course: Seven weeks (January 2, 2012 - February 1, 2013)

In this course we will explore Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Bah�'u'll�h's last major work, which is a single letter containing His own anthology of His writings. Reading the book slowly over a period of six weeks, we will examine major themes of Bah�'u'll�h's revelation: God as the source of His revelation; Who Bah�'u'll�h is; why He came; proofs of His station; His general teachings; the sufferings He endured; humanity's responses to His revelation; and accounts of martyrs that illustrate the transforming power of the Bah�'� Faith. Revealed for an enemy of the Bah�'� Faith, Shaykh Muhammad-Taq� (surnamed "Son of the Wolf"), the book warns him about the consequences of his persecution of the Faith. Containing as it does Bah�'u'll�h's quotations from His own revelation, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf provides an excellent summary of themes He considered important to understanding the Bah�'� Faith.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Charters of the Faith: The Tablet of Carmel, the Tablets of the Divine Plan, and the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Baha

Lead Faculty: Ed DiLiberto
Faculty: Robert Harris, Robert Wilson

Duration of course: Seven weeks (January 15 - March 5, 2013)

In this course we will study the "three Charters" of the Bah�'� Faith identified by Shoghi Effendi: Bah�'u'll�h's Tablet of Carmel and `Abdu'l-Bah�'s Will and Testament and Tablets of the Divine Plan. We will read and discuss the full texts of these three charters, supplementing our reading with stories, photographs, and other materials and seeking to gain a deeper understanding of their significance and their application in our own lives. We will examine the "three distinct processes" that Shoghi Effendi states these three charters set in motion, "the first operating in the Holy Land for the development of the institutions of the Faith at its World Center and the other two, throughout the rest of the Bah�'� world, for its propagation and the establishment of its Administrative Order" (Messages to the Bah�'� World, p. 84). . . .

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Lead Faculty: Christine Muller
Faculty:  Arthur Lyon Dahl, Carole Flood, Melinda Salazar

Duration of course: Eight weeks (February 1 - March 30, 2013)

Climate change is more than an environmental issue. It has far-reaching implications for the economy and for our efforts to relieve poverty and to establish and maintain peace. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of human civilization is at risk because we are destroying the foundation for life on this planet.

In this course we will cover the basics of climate science to create a foundation upon which participants will be able to build their own knowledge. Within the context of the spiritual teachings found in the world's religions, especially the Bah�'� Faith, we will explore nature and humankind; the science and the impacts of climate change; practical actions to mitigate climate change; and the spiritual and ethical dimensions connected to climate change. . .

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Lead Faculty:  Phyllis Ghim Lian Chew
Faculty: Robert Stockman

Duration of course: Seven weeks (February 15 - April 4, 2013)

In this course we will cover the rise and development of the Taoist and Confucian traditions; explore their ideas, values, and practices; consider the ways in which they are being modified and applied in the modern world; and examine their similarities to and differences from the Bah�'� teachings. By studying Chinese thought and values, Bah�'�s will obtain a greater appreciation of the Bah�'� Faith and acquire experience in sharing the perspective of their faith with Chinese people in an informed and respectful manner.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Lead Faculty: Wendi Momen 

Duration of course: Thirteen weeks (February 20 - May 20, 2013)

Marriage (a "fortress for well-being and salvation," according to Bah�'u'll�h) and family life (the crucible for creating unity) provide crucial environments for human development and self-expression and are central to child rearing, education, morality, and spirituality. In this course we will review of the background of the two institutions and then turn to a discussion of the types of families; mate selection and commitment; sexuality and gender roles; fertility and parenting; family relationships; marriage, work, and economics; the dissolution of marriages; and strengths and needs of marriage and the family. In examining marriage and family life we will draw on the research of psychologists, the writings of Bah�'�s, and the scriptures of the Bah�'� Faith.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register


The Wilmette Institute offers quality online courses on the Bah�'� Faith. It is committed to engaging a broad and diverse international community of learners in deep study of the Faith and to fostering love for study of the Faith. The Wilmette Institute was established in January 1995 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bah�'�s of the United States.

Information from the eNewsletter may be copied or reproduced, provided that the following credit is given: "Reprinted from the eNewsletter of the Wilmette Institute," followed by the issue's date. Recipients are encouraged to forward it to friends. If you have questions, please email us at

Wilmette Institute, 1233 Central Street, Evanston, IL, 60201-2886 USA
Phone 1.877.WILMETTE (1.877.945.6388) - Fax: 1.847.733.3563

� 2012 National Spiritual Assembly of the Bah�'�s of the United States -


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