Toward a new research program: An interview with the directors of the Center on Modernity in Transition

The newly established Center on Modernity in Transition (COMIT) is an interdisciplinary research organization that strives to rigorously examine the intellectual foundations of modern society and to contribute, however gradually, to their transformation. Now in its second year, COMIT pursues this aim by working to establish a novel research program animated by the idea of modernity as an age of transition toward a future world civilization—one characterized by unprecedented levels of peace, justice, and material and spiritual prosperity. This session will explore COMIT's vision, approach, and strategies, draw lessons from the Center's experience, and consider the insights it has derived from the Bahá’í teachings.

  • Benjamin Schewel

    Benjamin Schewel is the Co-Director of the Center on Modernity in Transition. He is the author of Seven Ways of Looking at Religion (Yale UP, 2017) and the forthcoming book, Encountering the Axial Age, also published by Yale University Press.

  • Shahrzad Sabet

    Shahrzad Sabet is a Fellow at New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge and Co-Director of the Center on Modernity in Transition. Her research and training span political science, philosophy, economics, and psychology. Her current book project explores how a reimagined universalism can resolve the social and philosophical tensions around collective identity. She has held positions at Princeton University, the University of Maryland, and Harvard University, where she received her PhD. Her work has been featured in outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.


45th Annual Conference

In the Footsteps of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá: Contributing to the Discourses of Our Time


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