Paradise and Paradigm: Key Symbols in Persian Christianity and the Baha'i Faith

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SUNY Press, 1999 - Religion - 402 pages
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Introducing a novel approach he calls Symbolic Paradigm Analysis, Buck offers a theoretically modular systematic comparison between early Syriac Christianity as the foundation of the East Syrian Church of the East, or the Nestorian Church of Persia; and the Baha'i Faith, a new world religion. He compares the hymns of Saint Ephrem the Syrian, considered the greatest poet of early Christianity, with the imagistic writings of Baha'u'llah, the founder of Baha'i. Parts of Buck's contribution to religious study is his new methodology; he argues that formal similarities between any two religions are best comprehended in terms of paradigmatic differences, which nuance all parallels through symbolic transformation. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
  

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Contents

Comparing Paradises
1
A Historical Profile of Syriac Christianity
37
A Symbolic Profile of Syriac Christianity
85
A Historical Profile of the BahaI Faith
135
A Symbolic Profile of the BahaI Faith
181
Paradise Similarities and Paradigm Differences
227
Paradise and Paradigm
259
Conclusions
313
I Abbreviations
331
II Syriac Transliteration Scheme
339
III ArabicPersian Transliteration Scheme
341
IV Fragments of a Lost Persian Christian Liturgy
345
Works Cited
351
Index
381
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About the author (1999)

Christopher Buck is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Millikin University. He is the author of Symbol and Secret: Qur'an Commentary in Baha'u'llah's Kitab-i Iqan, the 1996 Baha'i Book of the Year. Buck is also a two-time recipient of the Award for Excellence in Baha'i Studies, presented by the Association for Baha'i Studies.

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