The Babi and Baha'i Religions: From Messianic Shiism to a World Religion

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 11, 2008 - Religion - 264 pages
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The development of the Baha'i Faith from the messianic Babi movement in nineteenth-century Iran to become an independent religion established in many countries and commanding the devotion of people from many different cultures provides a vivid example of religious change in the modern world. The process is more fully documented than that by which any other religion emerged and Peter Smith is able to trace in detail the development of the major beliefs and values in their social and historical contexts. Beginning with the rise of the dissident Babi sect within Shi'i Islam, the book examines the origin of the Baha'i Faith and its dominant religious concerns in Qajar Iran, its initial establishment and subsequent growth in the United States, the development of its administration, and its present global expansion. A conclusion outlines possible future developments. Chronologies of the main events, a glossary and a bibliographical guide add to the usefulness of the book for both students and general readers.

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