February 2013 eNewsletter


We Need Volunteers!
The Wilmette Institute needs volunteer "schedulers" to help keep courses on schedule--with a side benefit of letting such volunteers take the course they schedule for free.

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Wilmette Institute Statistics, 2012: Cataloging Growth
See a snapshot of healthy growth in the number of courses offered, course participants, conversations in forums, Facebook likes, and Twitter followers. 

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Save These Dates!
An updated list of calls for papers, upcoming academic conferences, and webinars in 2013.
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Social Media
Facebook and Twitter Discounts
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Doing so could get you a discount on your next Wilmette Institute course. We are offering discount codes for 10 or even 20 percent for selected courses via those two social media.

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Our Students Speak Up  
The Writings of the B�b: A Renewed Dedication to Scholarship as an Avenue of Service
A Wilmette Institute course on the writings of the B�b inspires a monthly devotional, youth deepenings, and firesides--and a recommitment to Bah�'� scholarship.
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Following a Clear and Brilliant Light into Deeper Study: The Writings of the B�b
A study of central themes in the writings of the B�b expands an understanding of the B�b's revelation.
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New Layers of Revelation Open with a Study of the Writings of the B�b
A student of Native American healing practices finds untold layers of meaning the writings of the B�b.
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Mark Your Calendar
May 1 - June 18, 2013 
May 5 - June 23, 2013 
Climate Change
May 10 - June 28, 2013 
June 1 - July 19, 2013 
June 10 - July 29, 2013 
June 15 - August 3, 2013 
July through December 2013 Course Schedule


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



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    


The Life of Bah�'u'll�h

Science, Religion, and the Future

Hinduism for Deepening and Dialogue  



The Summons of the Lord of Hosts



Bah�'� History 1863-Present




February - April 2013 Courses

Lead Faculty: Christine Muller
Faculty:  Arthur Lyon Dahl, Carole Flood, Karryn Olson-Ramanujan

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

In this course we will study writings and documents that will help us become literate in the science of climate change and to acquire an understanding of how it impacts us today and will continue to impact us in the future. We will also explore ethical questions related to climate change and address them in the context of the spiritual teachings of the world's religions, especially those of the Bah�'� Faith. Other units will help us make enlightened decisions for our lives that are consistent with our spiritual and ethical values. Finally, we will learn to participate in public discourse by being empowered to present spiritual solutions to the climate crisis offered by Bah�'� texts to those who are concerned about this problem. For those interested in a more thorough study of climate change or who are interested in specific aspects of it or in its ethical challenges and spiritual dimensions, the course offers numerous optional resources.

NOTE: This is course is now full, but we are offering it again from May 5 to June 23. Click here to learn more about the course and to 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

Marriage and Family Life: Building the Fortress
Now Half Full!

Lead Faculty:
Wendi Momen
Faculty: Keyvan Geula, Hoda Kemp

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

Lead Faculty:  Anne Perry 
Faculty: Sandra Hutchison, Marjan Nirou Saniee

Duration of course: Seven weeks (March 1 - April 18, 2013)

In this course on the Bah�'� Faith and the arts (offered a second time because of popular demand), we will explore the purpose of the arts from a Bah�'� perspective; how art and religion have harmonized and conflicted in the past and how the Bah�'� dispensation will be similar to and different from the past; art as a specialized and important form of service to humanity; how the Bah�'� writings encourage artists; reframing imagination, creativity, and risk-taking within a Bah�'� context and prioritizing the positive aspects of creativity to enhance our lives, our communities, the Bah�'� Faith, and the future; and developing a serviceable language about the arts that enables us to integrate the arts more fully into Feasts, Holy Days, core activities, commemorations, and so on and to include more people in art making and appreciation of the arts.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Understanding Bah�'� History
An important new course for serious students of Bah�'� history
Lead Faculty: Moojan Momen

Duration of course: Seven weeks (March 5 - April 23, 2013)

This course differs from most courses offered by the Wilmette Institute in that it aims to teach students how to read historical writings critically, rather than to impart knowledge on a given topic. In other words, the course introduces students to the academic study of Bah�'� history, showing them how to read historical accounts critically. Three units will examine motifs of Bah�'� history, breaking through cultural boundaries, and the basics of critical reading. Four additional units use specific accounts (for example, the B�b's childhood and the Danish Bah�'� community) to examine the nature of the evidence an author uses and the arguments presented in an article. The course aims to provide learners with tools that will enable them to read more widely than the standard accounts of Bah�'� history and to be able to assess them using tools used in the course.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Lead Faculty:  Sandra Hutchison

Duration of course: Seven weeks (March 10 - April 28, 2013)

HSBW How to Study the Bah�'� Writings is designed to introduce learners to a systematic method of studying the Bah�'� scriptures by using a number of literary and exegetical tools. In the course we will study selected passages from Bah�'� scripture through four "windows" into the meaning of divine wisdom: Language; Theme; Structure; and the Work as a Whole. Through learning to read carefully, with attention to literal and figurative language, theme, structure, and the place of the work in the author's writings, we will develop tools for analyzing any Bah�'� text systematically. The course will also examine quickly five other "windows" into the meaning of scripture: the oeuvre (body of works), the biography, the times, the literary tradition, and the world scriptural tradition.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Lead Faculty: Farhad Rassekh 
Faculty: Shahruz Mohtadi, Hooshmand Badee

Duration of course: Seven weeks (March 20 - May 7, 2013)

In this course we will examine the guiding principles in the Bah�'� authoritative texts that relate to economics and the betterment of society. The Bah�'� Faith does not provide an economic system, but its spiritual and ethical values have much to say about the material aspects of life and the organization of society. We will review the world's economic conditions in the light of writings by Bah�'� and non-Bah�'� experts and consider the moral and ethical implications of Bah�'� teachings for improving such conditions.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Lead Faculty: Hossein Ashchi 
Faculty: Susan Maneck 

Duration of course: Seven weeks (April 1 - May 19, 2013)

In this course on Bah�'u'll�h's early mystic writings we will explore a theme that dominates Bah�'u'll�h's early writings and continues throughout His revelation: the relationship of the individual to spiritual reality--to God, to spiritual truths, to principles of personal development, and to laws of conduct. We will explore Bah�'u'll�h's Rashh-i-`Am� and some of His early poetry, The Four Valleys, The Seven Valleys, The Hidden Words, and the Tablet of the Holy Mariner. We will also read some Sufi texts that provide historical and literary context for allusions Bah�'u'll�h makes in His writings. We will round out our study with extensive commentaries and study materials by Bah�'�s on Bah�'u'll�h's early mystic writings.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Lead Faculty: Kavian Milani 
Faculty: Farhad Sabetan, Barney Leith

Duration of course: Seven weeks (April 15 - June 3, 2013)

HouseofBab This course will examine the persecution of the Bah�'� community of Iran from 1978 to the present with some reference to earlier periods of repression. It will consider reasons for the persecution, phases in the persecution, documents justifying the persecution, the defense mounted by the Bah�'� International Community, and the responses of governments, nongovernmental organizations, and citizens around the world. It will also set the persecution of the Iranian Bah�'� community in the larger context of human rights in Iran.

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 the eNewsletter to friends. If you have questions, please email us at info@wilmetteinstitute.org.

Wilmette Institute, 1233 Central Street, Evanston, IL, 60201-2886 USA
Phone 1.877.WILMETTE (1.877.945.6388) - Fax: 1.847.733.3563
Email: info@wilmetteinstitute.org
 http://wi.bahai.us; www.wilmetteinstitute.net (Moodle)
� 2013 National Spiritual Assembly of the Bah�'�s of the United States 


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