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a journal of analysis and comment advancing public understanding of religion and education
(more on the Journal)

Winter 2007
Vol. 34 No. 1

The Philosophy of Bahá’í Education

Boris Handal

Introduction

This paper discusses the main tenets underpinning a philosophy of Bahá’í education encompassing the individual and the society. It also examines the state of education and the child in the 19th century in the light of those principles. This is followed by a review of Bahá’í-inspired enterprises to implement those ideals around the world in the last century. Finally, the paper deals with the current state of education for children and women of the world as well as the erosive effects of secularism on religious values that have taken place in the past hundred and fifty years.

Brief Introduction to the Bahá’í Faith

Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, the newest of all world’s religions, was born in Iran in 1817 into an aristocratic family whose lineage can be traced back to the early Persian kings.1 His teachings centered on the principles of oneness of God, the unity of all religions and the unification of the human race.

Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings also included the independent investigation of truth, the elimination of racial, religious or national prejudices, the equality of men and women, the harmony between science and religion, the abolition of extremes of poverty and wealth, the establishment of an international tribunal of justice to preserve universal peace, and the adoption of an international auxiliary language to facilitate communication and understanding among nations. He is recognized by the followers of the Bahá’í Faith as the messenger of God for this age. According to the Bahá'í teachings, messengers of God like Moses, Abraham, Christ, Muhammad, Krishna and Buddha, have appeared at intervals throughout history to establish the world's great religions.2

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