Click here to load reader

Bahai Civilization - Moojan Momen

  • View
    1.550

  • Download
    4

Embed Size (px)

DESCRIPTION

Power point slide of Dr.Moojan Momen presentation in New Zealand - December 2009 (Auckland). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKl8YEjVZVg http://www.ustream.tv/channel/two-baha-i-presentations

Text of Bahai Civilization - Moojan Momen

  • 1. THE CALL OF CIVILIZATION BUILDING A NEW FUTURE

2.

  • All men have been created
  • to carry forward an
  • ever-advancing civilization.
  • (Bahullh)

3. CIVILIZATION

  • civilizev.Also -ise.
  • [(O)Fr. f. Lcivilis, f. civis citizen: see -il, -ile.]
  • citizen /"sItIz(@)n/n. & a.
  • [ANcitesein, -zein alt. (prob. after deinzein denizen n. & a.) of OFr. citeain (mod. citoyen) f. Proto-Romance, f. L civitas city.]
  • 1v.t.Bring out of barbarism;
  • bring to conformity with the standards of behaviour and the tastes of a highly developed society;
  • refine and educate.e17 .
  • 2v.t.Subject to civil authority.

4. BUILDING CIVILISATION 5. RELIGION AND THE ADVANCE OF CIVILISATION- CASE OF ISLAM

  • Before Islam:
    • tribal feuding would go on for generations;
    • if one did not belong to a tribe, one was of no consequence and could be killed with impunity;
    • the only law that existed was what each tribe could impose;
    • they are reported to have thought nothing of burying baby daughters alive;

6. RELIGION AND THE ADVANCE OF CIVILISATION- CASE OF ISLAM

  • With the rise of Islam:
    • a new civilisation
    • tolerance of religious minorities;
    • with respect to the rights and position given towomen and slaves;
    • and with respect to openness to truth and a desire to seek out knowledge
    • > scientific advances in astronomy, chemistry, medicine

7. RELIGION AND THE ADVANCE OF CIVILISATION

  • Cyclical nature of History
  • Civilisations rise and fall
  • Religion gives the impetus for the rise of civilisation
  • But after a time, civilisation decays
  • What causes the rise and decay?
  • Religion > morality, unity, openness
  • Decay caused by loss of these people use religion to gain power - corruption, sects and divisions, narrow-mindedness and rigidity

8. EVER-ADVANCING CIVILIZATION

  • All men have been created to carry forward an
  • ever-advancing civilization.
  • The Almighty beareth Me witness:
  • To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man.
  • Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth.
  • (Baha'u'llah,Gleanings,p. 215 )

9. MATERIAL CIVILIZATIONSPIRITUAL CIVILIZATION

  • No matter how far the material world advances, it cannot establish the happiness of mankind.Only when material and spiritual civilization are linked and coordinated will happiness be assured . . . for in material civilization good and evil advance together and maintain the same pace . . . Therefore, the material and the divine civilizations must progress together until the highest aspirations and desires of humanity shall become realized.
  • ( `Abdu'l-Baha:Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 109)

10. WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR PRESENT CIVILISATION?

  • Lack of spirituality and morality
  • Lack of unity
  • Hierarchical nature of society
  • Women do not have an equal position or opportunity
  • Minorities and poorer classes do not have an equal position
  • Competitiveness > anxiety, pollution, corruption

11. HOW DID WE GET HERE?

  • Pushed religion aside in the 19 thCentury
  • 20 thCentury: series of ideologies to replace religion:
    • Nationalism> World War I
    • Racism> World War II
    • Communism> Cold War
  • Now left with:
    • religious fundamentalism
    • free-market capitalism

12. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Material civilization is like the body and spiritual civilization is like the soul.Body without soul cannot live. (`Abdul-Baha) 13. HOW DO BAHAIS PROPOSE TO BUILD A NEW CIVILISATION?

  • Global vision
  • Global unity > global institutions
  • But not global totalitarianism
  • Local and National autonomy
  • Spiritual and moral basis for society
  • Empowerment of the individual

14. WHAT DO WE NEED TO MOVE AWAY FROM?

  • . . . the mode of religious activity that characterizes the general society--in which the believer is a member of a congregation, leadership comes from an individual or individuals presumed to be qualified for the purpose, and personal participation is fitted into a schedule dominated by concerns of a very different nature."
    • (Letter of the Universal House of Justice to an individual, dated 22 August 2002)

15. 1. THE BELIEVER IS A MEMBER OF A CONGREGATION

  • Empowering the individual - Ruhi programme
    • > taking responsibility for the community
  • Core activities:
    • devotional meetings
    • children's classes
    • study circles,
    • junior youth
  • Active community
  • Universal participation

16. 2. LEADERSHIP COMES FROM AN INDIVIDUAL OR INDIVIDUALS PRESUMED TO BE QUALIFIED FOR THE PURPOSE,

  • Breaking down patterns of hierarchy
  • Oppression, injustice
  • Women, ethnic minorities, religious minorities
  • Dignity, justice

17. 3. PERSONAL PARTICIPATION IS FITTED INTO A SCHEDULE DOMINATED BY CONCERNS OF A VERY DIFFERENT NATURE

  • > commitment
  • > new patterns of community life

18. NEW PATTERNS OF COMMUNITY LIFE

  • Cluster Meeting:
  • Consultation on plan of action
  • Create a Plan of Action
  • Carry out Plan
  • Meet to reflect upon the results
  • Consultation on new plan
  • Feed in guidance from NSA, ITC and House of Justice
  • Feed in prayers and guidance from Bahai scriptures

19. A scientific way of proceeding

  • Cluster Meeting:
  • Consultation on plan of action
  • Create a Plan of Action
  • Carry out Plan of Action
  • Meet to reflect upon the results
  • Consultation on new plan
  • Scientific Method:
  • Consider facts and create a hypothesis
  • Devise experiment to test hypothesis
  • Carry out experiment
  • Assess the results of the experiment
  • Create a new hypothesis

20.

  • Scientific manner of proceeding
  • Used now for Expansion
  • Once enough people
  • Can be used for tackling social problems
  • Can also be used for Social and Economic Development
  • Enter and engage in public discourse

21. Features of a Bahai Civilization

  • Decentralization
  • No individuals in power
  • Breaking down of power hierarchies
  • Empowerment of disadvantaged groups
  • Universal participation
  • Prevent alienation
  • Harness the power of consultation
  • Spiritual society
  • > Build the civilization of the future