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Cambridge University Press
The Babi and Baha'i Religions: From Messianic Shiism to a World Religion

The Babi and Baha'i Religions: From Messianic Shiism to a World Religion

by Peter SmithPeter Smith


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The development of the Baha'i Faith from the messianic Babi movement in nineteenth-century Iran to become an independent religion established in many countries and commanding the devotion of people from many different cultures provides a vivid example of religious change in the modern world. The process is more fully documented than that by which any other religion emerged and Peter Smith is able to trace in detail the development of the major beliefs and values in their social and historical contexts. Beginning with the rise of the dissident Babi sect within Shi'i Islam, the book examines the origin of the Baha'i Faith and its dominant religious concerns in Qajar Iran, its initial establishment and subsequent growth in the United States, the development of its administration, and its present global expansion. A conclusion outlines possible future developments. Chronologies of the main events, a glossary and a bibliographical guide add to the usefulness of the book for both students and general readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521317559
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 09/11/2008
Edition description: REVISED
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.67(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.71(d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Babism: 1. The Babi Movement; 2. Babi Doctrine and Dominant Motifs; 3. Babism as a Socio-religious Movement in Iran; Part II. The Baha'i Faith in the East, c. 1866-1921: 4. The Babi Recovery and the Emergence of the Baha'i Faith; 5. Dominant Motifs in the Baha'i Faith in the East; 6. The Iranian Baha'i Community, c. 1866-1921; Part III. The Baha'i Faith as a World Religion: 7. The Early American Baha'i Community; 8. Institutionalization in the Formative Age; 9. Modern Baha'i Motifs; 10. Worldwide Expansion; Conclusion.

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