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Religion and Public Discourse in an Age of Transition

Reflections on Bahá’í Practice and Thought

Edited by Benjamin Schewel & Geoffrey Cameron
Subjects Religion
Series Bahá’í Studies Hide Details
Paperback : 9781771123303, 304 pages, January 2018
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771123327, 304 pages, January 2018
Ebook (PDF) : 9781771123310, 304 pages, January 2018

Table of contents

Table of Contents
Introduction | Geoffrey Cameron and Benjamin Schewel
1 Religious Disruptions in an Age of Transition | Benjamin Schewel
2 Religion, Spiritual Principles, and Civil Society | David A. Palmer
3 Media and Public Discourse: In Search of Normative Foundations | Michael Karlberg
4 Education and Moral Empowerment: Raising Capacity for Participation in Public Discourse | Sona Farid-Arbab
5 An Inquiry into the Harmony of Science and Religion | Farzam Arbab
6 Bahá’í Participation in Public Discourse: Considerations Related to History, Concepts and Approach | Shahriar Razavi
7 Contributions to International Development Discourse: Exploring the Roles of Science and Religion | Matthew Weinberg
8 A New Politics of Engagement: The Bahá’í International Community, The United Nations and Gender Equality | Julia Berger
9 Rethinking Political Advocacy: The Bahá’í Refugee Resettlement Program (1981-89) | Geoffrey Cameron
Farzam Arbab, San Diego, CA
Julia Berger, New York, NY
Geoffrey Cameron, Hamilton, ON
Sona Farid-Arbab, San Diego, CA
David A. Palmer, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Benjamin Schewel, University of Groningen, Netherlands
Matthew Weinberg, Bahá’í Internet Agency, California
Shahriar Razavi, Universal House of Justice, Haifa, Israel
Michael Karlberg, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA


Technology, tourism, politics, and law have connected human beings around the world more closely than ever before, but this closeness has, paradoxically, given rise to fear, distrust, and misunderstanding between nation-states and religions. In light of the tensions and conflicts that arise from these complex relationships, many search for ways to find peace and understanding through a “global public sphere.” There citizens can deliberate on issues of worldwide concern. Their voices can be heard by institutions able to translate public opinion into public policy that embraces more than simply the interests and ideas of the wealthy and the empowered.
Contributors to this volume address various aspects of this challenge within the context of Bahá’í thought and practice, whose goal is to lay the foundations for a new world civilization that harmonizes the spiritual and material aspects of human existence. Bahá’í teachings view religion as a source of enduring insight that can enable humanity to repair and transcend patterns of disunity, to foster justice within the structures of society, and to advance the cause of peace. Accordingly, religion can and ought to play a role in the broader project of creating a pattern of public discourse capable of supporting humanity’s transition to the next stage in its collective development.
The essays in this book make novel contributions to the growing literature on post-secularism and on religion and the public sphere. The authors additionally present new areas of inquiry for future research on the Bahá’í faith.