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COLLECTIONPublished articles
TITLEA Symbolic Profile of the Bahá'í Faith
AUTHOR 1Christopher Buck
TITLE_PARENTJournal of Bahá'í Studies
PUB_THISAssociation for Bahá'í Studies
ABSTRACTA “symbolic profile” of Bahá’í consciousness as shaped by the writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ancillary texts: Ninian Smart’s dimensional model of religion is used to order and classify the symbols, together with insights from Sherry Ortner & John Wansbrough.
NOTES Chapter from the author's book Paradise and Paradigm: Key Symbols in Persian Christianity and the Baha’i Faith. See SUNY Press flyer.

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TAGS- Symbolism; Chahar Vadi (Four Valleys); Covenant; Crimson; Crimson Ark; Divine Physician; Gems (metaphor); Haft Vadi (Seven Valleys); Illumination; Javahirul-Asrar (Gems of Divine Mysteries); Journey (spiritual); Lawh-i-Mallahul-Quds (Tablet of the Holy Mariner); Lover and the Beloved; Maid of Heaven; Mirrors (metaphor); Mount Sinai, Egypt; Paradise; Promised One; Sadratul-Muntaha (Lote Tree); Search (general); Unity; Water (metaphor); Wine (metaphor)
About: Advanced study of the Bahá’í Faith must still deal with basics. While considerable progress has been made in historical research on Bábí and Bahá’í origins, much foundational work in Bahá’í Studies remains to be done at the level of text. Based on primary sources, this study will present a “symbolic profile” of Bahá’í consciousness, to the extent that it is shaped by the writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ancillary texts. To order and classify the symbols, this profile will employ Ninian Smart’s dimensional model of religion, using the present writer’s acronym, DREEMS (Doctrinal, Ritual, Ethical, Experiential, Mythic, Social). Sherry Ortner’s key symbols paradigm, consisting of thought-orientating “root metaphors” and action-inciting “key scenarios,” completes the profile, while John Wansbrough provides insight into the formation of a new religious ethos through a process of symbolic transformation. This study will highlight some of the predominant Bahá’í symbols, to which others will surely be added.
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PERMISSIONauthor and publisher
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