November 2012 eNewsletter


How Can I Prepare to Participate in Social Action and Public Discourse?

Upcoming courses to help you participate in the prevalent discourses of society.

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Education Under Fire: An Update from the Front Lines

Read about successes Baha'is in California, Colorado, Georgia, and North Carolina have experienced with small and large conversations engendered by showing the EUF documentary.

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Iranian Taboo Documentary Now Available

Information on obtaining the documentary about the Baha'is in Iran that has played in large cities in the U.S.

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Washington Baha'i History Museum: One More Reason to Visit the Pacific Northwest

Take a virtual tour of a new Baha'i History Museum in Bellevue, Washington.

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Save These Dates!
An updated list of upcoming academic conferences.
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Moving to Classroom Revolution

In late November--probably November 26-28--the Wilmette Institute's courses will be moving to a hosting service. We are making the move to a company called "Classroom Revolution" because they are experts at maintaining and upgrading Moodle, the software that runs our courses. Classroom Revolution will be able to keep our courses available without interruption, and they will be able to fix promptly any minor problems that occur. But during the move--which will take 24 to 72 hours--our courses will be temporarily unavailable. We will warn everyone in plenty of time, so they can print out readings and use the down time wisely. 
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.

'Abdu'l-Baha and Kate Carew
Find out more about a journalist who interviewed 'Abdu'l-Baha in New York City, and see a short video of an interview with Carew's granddaughter.
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Our Students Speak Up  

What Do Students Learn in a Wilmette Institute Course?
Read how students assessed what they learned in a popular Wilmette Institute course on Baha'u'llah's writings.
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Exploring the Four Noble Truths and the Baha'i Faith
A student of Buddhism and the Baha'i Faith deepens a students and prepares him for dialogue with friends.
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Mark Your Calendar
February 1 - March 31, 2013 

February 15 - April 4, 2013
Chinese Religions for Deepening and Dialogue  

February 20 - April 20, 2013

March 1 - April 18, 2013

March 20 - May 3, 2013
April - September 2013 Course Schedule


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


Baha'u'llah's Early Mystic Writings



The Persecution of the Iranian Baha'i Community 


Introduction to Shi'ism

Exploring the Tanakh/Old Testament

International Development and the Baha'i Faith 


Social Action and Public Discourse 

The Baha'i Faith: A Comprehensive Introduction



Zoroastrianism for Deepening and Dialogue



World Federation: The Time Has Come





Exploring the Qur'an

The Advancement of Women

Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind   


November 2012 - January 2013 Courses

Christianity for Deepening and Dialogue

Lead Faculty: Daniel Grolin
 Ted Brownstein

Duration of course: Three months (November 1, 2012 - January 31, 2013)

Chrstianity for Deepening and Dialogue In Christianity for Deepening and Dialogue we will explore major themes from the Gospels that form part of Christian belief: conceptions of God and the trinity; Christian rites, the Eucharist, and baptism; the kingdom of God; faith in miracles; the Crucifixion; and the Resurrection. We will begin with an introduction to the Bible and its organization and will also cover politics and religion. Using Baha'i, Islamic, and academic perspectives, we will examine the themes in the Gospels' original context and then explore them in their modern forms. We will be studying Christianity for the purposes of deepening and dialogue--that is, for understanding the basics of Christianity as a divinely revealed religion (and, by comparison, the Baha'i Faith) and for learning how to share the perspective of one's own faith with a variety of Christians in an informed and respectful manner.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Islam for Deepening and Dialogue

Lead Faculty: Susan Maneck
Faculty: Christopher Buck,
Lil Osborn

Duration of course: Three months (November 15, 2012 - February 15, 2013)

The Kaaba In Islam for Deepening and Dialogue we will begin with a survey of the life of Muhammad, a Manifestation of God, and a review of the origins, development, and content of the Qur'an, including the teachings and practices of Islam. We will then examine the Sunni/Shiite split over issues of succession and authority and discuss Islamic mysticism, or Sufism, and the Sufi poetic tradition. Finally, we will turn to contemporary Islam and to Islam and other religions, including the Baha'i Faith. With ongoing anti-Islamic sentiment in the United States and elsewhere in the world, there is no better time to improve our understanding of one of the world's most important and influential religions and to prepare for discussing it with Christian and Muslim friends and neighbors.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Baha'i Theology

Lead Faculty: Ian Kluge
Faculty: Wolfgang Klebel

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

candle reflection This course on Baha'i 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 Baha'i 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 Baha'is 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-Baha's work The Secret of Divine Civilization, the first extensive description of Baha'i social teachings, reading it slowly over a period of weeks. Elaborating on principles that Baha'u'llah 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-Baha 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 and 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, Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'u'llah's revelation: God as the source of His revelation; Who Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'i Faith. Revealed for an enemy of the Baha'i Faith, Shaykh Muhammad-Taqi (surnamed "Son of the Wolf"), the book warns him about the consequences of his persecution of the Faith. Containing as it does Baha'u'llah'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 Baha'i Faith.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

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 Baha'i Faith identified by Shoghi Effendi: Baha'u'llah's Tablet of Carmel and `Abdu'l-Baha'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 Baha'i world, for its propagation and the establishment of its Administrative Order" (Messages to the Baha'i World, p. 84). . .

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register


The Wilmette Institute offers quality online courses on the Baha'i 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 Baha'is 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 Baha'is of the United States -


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