“By the Aid of the Vision and Insights Obtained”: Bahá’í and Academic Frameworks for Historical Interpretation

History is perhaps unique as a discipline insofar as it aspires to distill the collective memory of humanity. This knowledge informs social reality and collective future aspirations. History is thus both a scholarship and a fundamental aspect of life for all peoples. This paper explores key similarities and differences between academic and Bahá’í paradigms for historical interpretation through an analysis of historical examples of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s engagement in discourses of society in the West—and the implications these hold for current-day Bahá’ís and historians attempting to participate in discourses in an increasingly divided and fractured world.

  • Johanna Jochumsdottir-Taherzadeh

    Jóhanna Jochumsdóttir did her PhD (ABD) at Rutgers University, New Jersey, and is currently completing her dissertation about religious discourses in the Edwardian suffrage movement. She has taught global and comparative history, modern European history, and women’s and gender history at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, the Open University, UK, and Rutgers University. She was born and brought up in Iceland and now lives with her family in Ottawa, Canada.


48th Annual Conference

The views expressed in this recording are those of the presenter and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, nor the authoritative explications of Bahá’í writings.