September 2012 eNewsletter


1,400 Enjoy ABS Conference on 'Abdu'l-Baha's Vision for North America

A summary of "perhaps the best ABS conference yet."

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A Student's Impressions of the ABS Conference in Montreal

A Wilmette Institute student's joyful impressions of the ABS conference in Montreal.

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Education Under Fire: Launching Phase 2

Study the details of Phase 2 of the Education Under Fire campaign, and see how everyone can participate.

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Baha'i Persecution in Iran Documented in U.S. State Department's 2011 International Religious Freedom Report

Read the International Religious Freedom report detailing the ongoing persecution of the Baha'is in Iran.

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Baha'i History in Photographs on the Web

The Web and media photo banks worldwide showcase historical and current photographs illuminating Baha'i history.

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'Irfan Colloquium, October 5-8, at Louhelen Baha'i School in Michigan
Check out the theme (the ocean of 'Abdu'l-Baha's words) and other details of the 2012 'Irfan Colloquium.

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Inaugural October 13 Baha'i Studies Conference on the Legacy of `Abdu'l-Baha Announced

See the details for the first online ("in the cloud") Baha'i Conference on `Abdu'l-Baha's legacy.

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Save These Dates!
Here is a list of dates for your calendar for planning for the future.

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Social Media
Facebook and Twitter Discounts
If you would like 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. 

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Our Students Speak Up & Act 

Course on 'Abdu'l-Baha in America Adds to Creative Use of Web

An isolated Baha'i uses the Web to chase down details about 'Abdu'l-Baha's trip to North America.

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An English Teacher Learns from the Master at Work

A teacher becomes a pupil, drawing lessons from 'Abdu'l-Baha.

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A Scottish Woman Prepares for the Centenary of 'Abdu'l-Baha's 1913 Visit to Scotland

Mapping 'Abdu'l-Baha's extensive North American travels helps a woman from Scotland prepare for the centenary of the Master's visit to her home country.

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Mark Your Calendar
December 1, 2012 - February 28, 2013
Baha'i Theology  

December 15, 2012 - January 30, 2013 
The Secret of Divine Civilization

January 2, 2013 - March 2, 2013
Epistle to the Son of the Wolf  

January 15, 2013 - March 10, 2013
Charters of the Faith  

February - July 2013 Course Schedule


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


Zoroastrianism for Deepening and Dialogue


Climate Change


Building the Fortress: Marriage and Family Life 



Social Action and Public Discourse



How to Study the Baha'i Writings 


Economics and the Baha'i Faith 


Baha'u'llah's Early Mystic Writings



The Persecution of the Iranian Baha'i Community 


Introduction to Shi'ism and Shaykhism

Exploring the Tanakh/Old Testament

International Development and the Bah�'� Faith 

The Bah�'� Faith: A Comprehensive Introduction



Chinese Religions for Deepening and Dialogue



World Federation: The Time Has Come





September - November 2012 Courses

The Ministry of Shoghi Effendi

Lead Faculty: Barney Leith 
Faculty: Ed DiLiberto, Kurt Hein

Duration of course: Seven weeks (September 1 - October 23, 2012)

This course looks briefly at Shoghi Effendi's childhood and youth (1897-1921) and more extensively at his ministry as Guardian of the Baha'i Faith (1921-57). The course will consider the many roles Shoghi Effendi filled as he carried out his duties as Guardian in fostering the growth and development of the Baha'i Faith. These include builder, interpreter, author, and translator. Shoghi Effendi devoted much of his ministry to building the administrative order outlined by Baha'u'llah and elaborated by `Abdu'l-Baha in His Will and Testament and to using it as an instrument for fostering the international spread of the Baha'i Faith called for by `Abdu'l-Baha in the Tablets of the Divine Plan. . . .

Course Description     Fees     Study Schedule     Register

The Baha'i Faith and the Arts

Lead Faculty: Anne Perry
Faculty: Sandra Hutchison,
Vickie Hu Poirier

Duration of course: Seven weeks (September 10 - October 31, 2012)

In this course on the Baha'i Faith and the arts we will explore the purpose of the arts from a Baha'i perspective; how art and religion have harmonized and conflicted in the past; the artist as a unique person with a special gift; reframing imagination, creativity, and risk-taking within a Baha'i context; and developing a serviceable language about the arts.

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

Introduction to Archives for Baha'i Archivists

Lead Faculty: Roger Dahl
Faculty: Lois Walker,
Sue Rishworth

Duration of course: Three months (September 15 - December 15, 2012)

aRCHIVES Organized by the United States National Baha'i Archives and taught by three Baha'i archivists, this course will introduce local and national Baha'i archivists to principles that will help them organize and maintain their collections. Registration for the course is open to local and national Baha'i archivists (and to others only by permission of the National Archives). The course will include activities that will require access to archival materials in a Baha'i archives. . . .

Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register

`Abdu'l-Baha in America       

Lead Faculty: Robert Stockman
Faculty: William Collins


Back by Popular Demand! 


Duration of course: Three months (September 20 - December 20, 2012)

 `Abdu'l-Baha in America will explore `Abdu'l-Baha's epochal journey across the North American continent from April 11 through December 5, 1912. In the course we will look at the journey both chronologically and thematically, considering each of the places the Master visited and His various accomplishments: proclaiming the Baha'i teachings to the public; demonstrating the oneness of humanity through His racially integrated meetings; encouraging the marriage of Louis Gregory and Louisa Mathew; showing concern for the poor through visits to six social service agencies and settlement houses; comforting the infirm in visits to Baha'is and friends of Baha'is unable to come to Him; deepening Baha'is in the fundamental verities of the Faith and urging them to teach it widely; patiently explaining the Covenant and warning about Covenant-breakers; reforming Baha'i governing bodies; reinvigorating Baha'i communities; lovingly mentoring young Baha'is and pouring out His love to children. An initial unit will discuss requests from American Baha'is that prompted `Abdu'l-Baha to visit North America. `Abdu'l-Baha's journey in the United States and Canada teaches us many things, provides many stories we can tell that will attract others to Him and to the Baha'i Faith, and prepares us for opportunities for public discourse that the one-hundredth anniversary of His visit provides. 


Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule    Register  

The Writings of the Bab        

Lead Faculty: Moojan Momen
Faculty: Todd Lawson


Duration of course: Nine weeks (October 1 - November 29, 2012)

This course is an introduction to the principal writings of the Bab. Among the works we will study are the Commentary on the Surih of Joseph (Qayyumu'l-Asma'); tablets to secular and religious leaders; The Seven Proofs (Dala'il-i-Sab`ih); the Persian Bayan (Bayan-i-Farsi); the Arabic Bayan (Bayan al-`Arabiyyah), the Book of Names (Kitab-i-Asma'); and the Book of Five Grades (Kitab-i-Panj-Sha'n). Our study will be both historical and thematic. . . . 


Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register    

Science and Religion        

Lead Faculty: Robert Sarracino
Faculty: Nicola Daniels, Roger Neyman


Duration of course: Three months (October 8, 2012 - January 8, 2013)

SciRel `Abdu'l-Baha compared science and religion to "two wings" of the bird of humankind. Shoghi Effendi called science and religion "the two most potent forces in human life" and predicted that in time these two forces will "be reconciled, will co-operate, and will harmoniously develop." In this course we will explore a complementary view of science and religion consistent both with the philosophy of science and with Baha'i texts. We will examine science and religion from the Baha'i point of view (as we can best understand it at present) and from the point of view of science (represented by philosophers of science chosen from among the ranks of practicing scientists and by the major societies representing science, most of which see the religious worldview, in general, as fundamentally compatible with science).

In the first half of the course we will examine the nature of science--the philosophy of science; the scientific method; the legitimate limitations of science; postmodernist attacks that have been directed against science as a legitimate system of discovery--and Baha'i writings on science, intellectuality, and rationality; the Baha'i view of reality; and the processes of Baha'i decision-making that prompted Shoghi Effendi to state that the Baha'i Faith is "scientific in its method." In the second half of the course we will focus on some of the discoveries of modern science and on discussing Baha'i beliefs and principles in a manner consistent with the sciences. The course is designed to help students develop a more complex understanding of science and the scientific method. No background preparation is necessary.


Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule     Register  

Social Action and Public Discourse        

Lead Faculty:
Betty J. Fisher 

Faculty: Sherna Deamer, Barney Leith  



Duration of course: Seven weeks (October 15 - December 2, 2012)

In this course we will explore social action and public discourse and their dynamic relationship to the core activities, external affairs, and other Baha'i activities in the Five Year Plan. We will begin with a compilation of Baha'i texts on the spiritual requirements needed for social action and public discourse and an historical survey of Baha'i involvement in the two areas of action. Then we will explore social action and public discourse in letters from the Universal House of Justice and in writings of Baha'i institutions and individual Baha'is. We will conclude by discussing resources that will help each of us in our spiritual and practical journey as we incorporate social actions and public discourse into our lives. . . . 


Course Description      Fees     Study Schedule   Register      

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 the Manifestation of God Muhammad 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


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.

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