The Universal House of Justice is an elected body that serves as the head of the world-wide Bahai community. It is empowered to decide when Bahai laws are applicable for Bahais, to provide the necessary framework so that they can be applied, and to make laws and rulings for situations that are not covered in Bahai scripture. So it has a very important role in Bahai community life. Unlike all the other Bahai institutions and roles and positions in community life, membership of the Universal House of Justice is, at least for now, reserved for men. I will return to that ‘for now’ briefly, at the end of this posting. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘World Order of Baha’u'llah’
Posted by Sen on May 23, 2010
Posted by Sen on November 22, 2009
This posting begins by discussing a letter written on behalf of the Guardian, which refers to “the Bahai theocracy” as a divinely ordained system, and goes on from there to address the claims that there is ‘a theocratic undercurrent’ in Shoghi Effendi’s writings, or that he contradicted himself, changed his mind or concealed his real views for reasons of prudence. In addition to the few places where Shoghi Effendi speaks directly on the topic, we can look at the Bahai writings he translated, to see what teachings he thought were central and important for the English-speaking Bahais to understand.
The posting continues by looking at the future renaming of the Assemblies as Houses of Justice, and what Shoghi Effendi says about the role of the Universal House of Justice in the Bahai Commonwealth and in a future superstate, which leads to some considerations regarding the role of an established religion, or state religion, in a society. Another section looks at a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi which says that, one day, “the Bahais will be called upon to assume the reins of government,” and at another letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi that speaks of the International Tribunal and Court of Arbitration being merged in the Universal House of Justice. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Church and State, Defence of the Faith | Tagged: Church and State, Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi, House of Justice, Baha'u'lah, World Order of Baha'u'llah, Bahai Commonwealth, pilgrim's notes, International Tribunal, عبدالبهاء, Bahai theocracy, commonwealth of nations, بهایی, شوقی افندی, establishment of religion, Spiritual Assembly, non-involvement in politics, William Miller, John Robarts, Bernard Leach | 20 Comments »
Posted by Sen on January 15, 2009
In Century’s end, I showed that Bahais of my generation widely expected universal peace to arrive in the twentieth century. Some of the texts on which this belief was based did not refer to the twentieth century; others did refer to the twentieth century or dates in the 20th century, but were pilgrims’ notes. There may be more, but I have found five such unauthentic sources:
- The Maxwell’s pilgrim’s notes, anticipating the Lesser Peace by 1953.
- Esselmont’s pilgrim’s notes, in the first edition of Baha’u'llah and the New Era, anticipating universal peace by 1957. As Dan Jensen has pointed out, the 1950 edition changed the date to 1963, but it is still just a pilgrim’s note, and universal peace was also not achieved in 1963.
- Sarah Kenny’s Haifa notes anticipating the Lesser Peace in the 20th century.
- A report in the Montreal Star on September 11, 1912, printed in Abdu’l-Baha in Canada p. 35, saying that peace would be universal in the 20th century.
- A talk reported in The Promulgation of Universal Peace page 126, and in Star of the West 3.8.14, calling the twentieth century the century of international peace.
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Posted in Bahai Writings, Community, Theology, Translations | Tagged: 7 candles, Abdu'l-Baha, Alexander Whyte, Baha'u'llah, Bahai, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, century, century of light, election, Esselmont, failed prophecy, Isaiah 11:9, Lesser Peace, pilgrim's notes, qarn, Sarah Kenny, Seven Candles of Unity, Shoghi Effendi, Some Answered Questions, The Promised Day is Come, twentieth century, unity of nations, Universal House of Justice, World Order of Baha'u'llah, `asr, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 11 Comments »
Posted by Sen on December 10, 2008
In thinking about the future of the world, and of the Bahai community, and in speaking about them, we need to distinguish between the two uses of ‘commonwealth’ : the commonwealth of nations and the Bahai Commonwealth. If we do not, governments are likely to be misled and alarmed, thinking that there is something political or governmental about this ‘Bahai Commonwealth’ Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Church and State | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'u'llah, Bahai, Bahai Commonwealth, federalism, political theology, Shoghi Effendi, world government, World Order of Baha'u'llah, بهائی, شوقی افندی | 6 Comments »
Posted by Sen on December 2, 2008
A person investigating the Bahai Faith had encountered theocratic ideas among the Bahais she met, and asked if these were correct, and where they came from. But in fact, she seemed to know already that these ideas must be wrong. She wrote:
> I have to say that the idea of a one-world government run by a
> religious institution of any sort whatsoever, is what I can only
> call a total nightmare. I cannot believe for one second that this
> is what Bahaullah envisaged,
She was quite right. This is certainly not what Baha’u'llah envisioned!
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Posted in Church and State, History | Tagged: A Traveler's Narrative, Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai, Bahai Faith, Bahai lore, bahai theology, Church and State, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Hippolyte Dreyfus, Horace Holley, Kitab-i Iqan, Luke 20:20-26, Mark 12:13-17, Matt. 22:15-22, millenialism, one-world government, render to Caesar, Risaleh-ye Siyasiyyah, Sermon on the Art of Governance, Shoghi Effendi, Supreme Tribunal, The Promised Day is Come, theocracy, Universal House of Justice, World Order of Baha'u'llah, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 15 Comments »