Paradise and Paradigm: Key Symbols in Persian Christianity and the Baha'i Faith
In a novel approach that the author terms "symbolic paradigm analysis," Paradise and Paradigm offers a "theoretically modular" systematic comparison of two "Persian" religions: early Syriac Christianity as the foundation of the East Syrian "Church of the East" (the Nestorian Church of Persia) and the Baha'i Faith, a new world religion. The author compares the hymns of the greatest poet of early Christianity, Saint Ephrem the Syrian, and the richly imagistic writings of the founder of the Baha'i religion, Baha'u'llah. The book employs an original analytic technique in the creation of "symbolic profiles" constructed on Ninian Smart's dimensional model of religion. As Buck skillfully demonstrates, formal similarities between any two religions are best comprehended in terms of paradigmatic differences, which nuance all parallels through a process of symbolic transformation. Buck also shows the communal reflexivity of paradise imagery in representing the ideal faith-community in both traditions.
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Abdu'l-Baha analysis Aphrahat Aqdas Arabic Baha Baha'i Faith Baha'i texts Baha'u'llah baptism Bardaisan Bardaisanite bishop body Brock century Christ Christological Church of Persia comparison Covenant dimension divine doctrine early Syriac Christianity earth East Edessa empire Ephrem the Syrian Ephrem's hymns eschatological ethical Glad-Tidings hath heaven Holy Mariner House of Justice human Hymns on Paradise ibid ideal important Islam Jesus key scenarios key symbols Kitab-i Lawh-i light liturgy Lord LumE Manichaean Marcion Middle Persian mirror Motifs mystical Nestorian Nisibis paradigm Paradise imagery pearl Persian Christianity Persian empire Physician present prophets Qur'an refers religious resurrection revelation Robe of Glory root metaphors sacramental sacred salvation Sasanian scripture sense Sheol Shoghi Effendi social soteriology soul spiritual Synod Syriac and Baha'i Syriac Christianity Tablet teachings theosis thou tion trans transformation translation Tree unity universal unto Virg virginity writes Zoroastrian