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COLLECTIONPublished articles
TITLEMemorials of the Faithful: The Democratization of Sainthood
AUTHOR 1Moojan Momen
TITLE_PARENTLights of Irfan
PUB_THISHaj Mehdi Arjmand Colloquium
ABSTRACTHagiography in Judaism, Christianity and Islam; the precedent of Faridu'd-Din's "Memorials of the Saints"; Abdu'l-Bahá innovations in this traditional literary format.
NOTES Mirrored with permission from
TAGSMemorials of the Faithful (book); Attar; Islam; Interfaith dialogue
Abstract: This paper considers the literary genre and literary history behind Memorials of the Faithful (Tadhkiratu’l-Vafá) as well as examining what is new about the book. The paper will first consider the genre of hagiography in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It will then look at the specific literary precedent set by Farídu’d-Dín’s Tadhkiratu’l-Awliyá (Memorials of the Saints), which is the oldest work of this genre in Persian. Next, it looks at the contents of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s book, giving some examples of the manner in which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá follows the hagiographic tradition and where he departs from it; in particular where he highlights particular virtues that related to the needs of the Faith. Finally the paper will examine the manner in which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá took this traditional literary format and used it in an innovative manner to make a profound statement about a fundamental principle of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh.
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