Saturday, March 01, 2008

On the Scholar and the Plan: Being Fully Prepared to Teach

Baha'i scholar Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, uploaded on March 13, 2006 by Steve Pulley on flickr: "I painted these oils between 1980 and 1990 when living in Bolivia and Chile."

In the days, weeks, months, and years ahead, the Baha'i friends who want to be fully prepared for teaching the Baha'i religion need to be knowledgeable about certain contemporary issues that are front and center on the global stage. For my personal guidance, I have valued this document prepared by Farzin Aghdasi from which I have drawn this overview of subjects. -gw

* The status of women in the family, at work place and in the Baha’i community

* Moral Relativism, Personal Preferences, Alternative Lifestyles, Homophobia and Social Status of Homosexuality

* Reproductive Health, Abortion, Sacredness of Life, and Women’s Choice

* Violence in Family and Society, Criminal Justice System, Death Penalty and Gun Control

* Racism, Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity, Melting Pot, and the Oneness of Mankind

* Unity of Religions, Fundamental Doctrinal Differences, and Syncretism

* Agnostics, Atheists, Secular Influences in the Society and Proofs of the Existence of God

* Individual Rights and Freedoms versus the Religious form of Covenant

* Freedom of Expression and Conscience, Censorship, and Criticism of Authority

* In the Beginning, the Big Bang, Biological Evolution, Genesis, and the Origin of Life – What is the Baha’i view of the origin of the world and of life?

* Revision of Mechanistic World View and the New Sciences: Relativity, Quantum, Uncertainty, Biologic Computationals, Walking, Talking and Thinking Machines, Process vs. Object world views, Materials and Medicine

* Democratic Governance and the New World Order; Communism and Alternative Views of History

* Globalization of Capitalism, the New Economic Order and Baha’i teachings for an integrated society

* Selected Issues from Current Online Discussions

Farzin Aghdasi, RELATING THE BAHA’I FAITH TO SOME CONTEMPORARY ISSUES, A Study: Notes for a Structured Course at the University of the Witwatersrand, Association for Baha'i Studies in Southern Africa, April-June 2000

Several years ago Farzin presented at the Association of Baha'i Studies on the following. -gw

Theme of the 30th ABS conference
The Scholar and the Plan
Individual and collective spiritual growth is intimately linked with both study and action. Inner qualities and attitudes as well as outward activity and service mutually reinforce each other. The current phase of the Divine Plan brings into sharp focus this interplay. The teacher becomes the learned, as the learned becomes the teacher. Scholarship is seen in a new light, as Divine Revelation is acknowledged as a source of knowledge. The Writings contain rich imagery of the interaction between the spiritual and social aspects of civilization, between the scholar and the Plan.

FARZIN AGHDASI holds an MBA and a PhD in Computer Vision. His research has applied Artificial Intelligence methods for early detection of Breast Cancer. He has lived in Africa and lectured at the Universities of Zimbabwe and Witwatersrand. He now serves on the Continental Board of Counselors for the Americas.

CD 30th ABS Conference - Farzin Aghdasi

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