Friday, February 22, 2008

On "The Baha'is of Iran": Pioneering academic book that sets right an omission

Uploaded on February 22, 2008 by John Barnabas on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

Book launch - a photoset on Flickr
Launch of "The Baha'is of Iran" (edited by Dominic Brookshaw and Seena Fazel, published by Routledge) at the UK Bahá'í Centre in London.


The Baha'is of Iran was published in August 2007. Pictures of a book launch in the UK have appeared on Barney's flickr site and mention on his blog. -gw

Last night the UK Baha’i community’s Office of External Affairs hosted the launch of a pioneering academic book that starts to set this omission right. The Baha’is of Iran: Socio-Historical Studies, edited by two UK Baha’is, Dr Dominic Brookshaw and Dr Seena Fazel and published by Routledge.

Table of Contents
1. Foreword - Dominic Parviz Brookshaw and Seena B. Fazel
2. Messianic Expectation and Evolving Identities: The Conversion of Iranian Jews to the Baha’i Faith - Mehrdad Amanat
3. The Conversion of Zoroastrians to the Baha’i Faith - Fereydun Vahman
4. Instructive Encouragement: The Tablets of Baha’ullah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha to Baha’i Women in Iran and India - Dominic Parviz Brookshaw
5. Baha’i Schools in Iran - Moojan Momen
6. Baha’i Health Initiatives in Iran: A Preliminary Survey - Seena B. Fazel and Minou Foadi
7. Baha’i Discourses on the Constitutional Revolution - Kavian Milani
8. The Comparative Dimension of the Baha’i Case and Prospects for Change in the Future - Eliz Sanasarian
9. The Historical Roots of the Persecution of Babis and Baha’is in Iran - Abbas Amanat
10. Anti-Baha’ism and Islamism in Iran - Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi
11. Anatomy of Prejudice: Reflections on Secular Anti-Baha’ism in Iran - H.E. Chehabi
12. The Discourse and Practice of Human Rights Violations of Iranian Baha’is in the Islamic Republic of Iran - Reza Afshari

About the Book
The Baha’i community of Iran is the country’s largest non-Muslim religious minority. This collection of essays presents a comprehensive study of the social and historical development of the Baha’i community, and its role in shaping modern Iran.

Central to this study is the pioneering character of the Baha’i community in the late 19th and early 20th century, with chapters examining the role of women in the Baha’i community; the impact of Baha’i-run schools on Iranian society, Baha’i contributions to public health initiatives; and the influence of Baha’i thought and the actions of individual Baha’is on the Constitutional Revolution of 1906-1911.

Conversion to the Baha’i Faith is another important theme, as contributors investigate the phenomenon of large scale conversion to the Baha’i Faith from the Jewish and Zoroastrian communities.

Finally, although persecution of the Baha’is has drawn the attention of the Western media, until now few scholars working in the field of Iranian studies have chosen to write on the history or details of this persecution. Here, five prominent figures in the field redress this balance and look at different aspects of this persecution, including its historical background, the attitude of secular Iranians, persecution before and after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and human rights perspectives.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Iranian studies, Middle Eastern studies and comparative religion, and with many chapters authored by leading academics in Iranian studies, The Baha’is of Iran addresses both a gap in academic literature on the Baha’i Faith, and in the study of modern Iran in general.

The Baha'is of Iran is available for rental through BookSwim. -gw

BookSwim remedies the high cost of owning books through a Book Rental Service that allows for unlimited rentals per month on a monthly subscription plan. Like a revolving door of books, subscribers simply send back a few books at a time and are quickly mailed more from their online rental pools (it's like a queue, only wetter).


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Bookswim link as the purchase price of $150! is a bit shocking to say the least. Does anyone know why the book is so expensive? The book will probably end up in a lot of libraries as well which will be very helpful.

George Wesley Dannells said...

Even the price of an issue of Time Magazine is, like, $5. A year subscription to The Economist is well more than a $100, even with discount. Download a single article from an academic journal today is $30. Routledge is a publishing business, and they are charging $150 because libraries will pay that, and, I agree, that is where "The Baha'is of Iran" will end up, in academic libraries.