Offered in 2017


Unifiers of Humanity: Baha'i Founders and Global Developments

Discover the Baha’i faith, which offers a new way of understanding world religion and history as a drama of overall progress. The Baha’i faith is a new world religion that affirms the unity of God, religion and humanity while promoting an ever-advancing global civilization.

We’ll take a developmental and objective approach to considering Baha’u’llah (1817–1892), founder of the Baha’i faith, and his forerunner, the Bab (1819–1850). (The titles “the Bab” and “Baha’u’llah” mean “gate” and “glory of God” respectively.) We will explore their emergence in 19th-century Persia, their transformative ministries and universal teachings, and the global civilization arising in their wake, using an informal lecture-discussion format. Our goal is a broader, deeper understanding of humanity’s spiritual progress across the ages and our current transition to a more united world.

A $59 discount will be applied automatically for adults 55+.

Currently not available for registration.

What will I learn?

Week 1: Course introduction and two early 19th-century contexts: Persia’s religious decline and the shifting geopolitical order

Week 2: The Bab’s ministry, teaching and martyrdom (1844-1850) in the context of Christian and Islamic prophetic expectation

Week 3: Baha’u’llah’s ministry and teaching in Iran and Iraq (1844-1863) in the context of multi-scriptural prophecy and expectation

Week 4: Baha’u’llah’s ministry and teaching in Turkey (1863-1868), letters to world rulers and the world historical context

Week 5: Baha’u’llah’s ministry and teaching in Palestine (1868-1892), prelude to the ‘lesser peace’ and ‘humanity’s spiritual maturation’

Week 6: Foundations established by Baha’u’llah (1892 to the present): Abdul-Baha, Center of the Covenant; Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration; the Universal House of Justice, Baha’i World Center, Mount Carmel

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Discussion (may vary from class to class)
  • Papers (applicable only to certificate students)

How will I be evaluated?

For certificate students only:

Your instructor will evaluate you based on an essay, which you will complete at the end of the course. You will receive a grade of “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.”

Textbooks and learning materials

Reading material (if applicable) will be available in class. Some course materials may be available online.

If you're 55+, you may take this course as part of

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