Baha'i Library Online

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COLLECTIONSEssays and short articles, Book excerpts
TITLEThe Community of Religions
AUTHOR 1John Herman Randall
TITLE_PARENTThe Meaning of Religion for Man
PUB_THISHarper & Row
ABSTRACTChapter on religious tolerance, inclusivism, and the need for a World Faith, with a passing discussion of Bahá'í principles, written by a Baptist minister who addressed Bahá'í audiences and received a letter from the Guardian.

1. Letter from Shoghi Effendi re Randall

The following, published in Bahá'í News Letter 16 (March 1927), p. 3, online here, shows the relevance of Randall's work for Bahá'í studies:
We are privileged to quote from a letter written by Shoghi Effendi in his own hand to Dr. John Herman Randall of the Community Church of New York, dated July 10th, 1926.
    "I desire to take the present opportunity to assure you in person of my deep admiration for those unique gifts which have characterized your able presentation of the Bahá'í Principles as well as my unshaken confidence in the part you are destined to play for their universal recognition and triumph. Your clear vision, your high courage, your grasp of the needs of present-day society, your eminent position and penetrating eloquence qualify you in a remarkable manner to champion the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh and establish its truth in the West.

    "We are gradually and imperceptibly entering upon a new stage of our progressive life and the qualities which are needed to supplement the essential characteristics that are common to the followers of the Faith are just the ones you are in a position to contribute and increase. That is why every well-wisher of the Cause looks upon you as the chief instrument and factor that can provide and contribute those necessary elements which a gradually unfolding movement imperatively demands at present. I would therefore earnestly request you to pursue your labors, untrammeled and unhampered by the existing conditions, striving in your own admirable manner to add to the number of those capable, enlightened and devoted servants of the Cause, who will eventually by the force of their numbers and the brilliancy of their powers, revitalize the Cause, widen its scope, establish its Principles and vindicate its truth.

    "It would undoubtedly grieve me to learn that any imperfections and failings on the part of the friends whether individually or collectively have tended to damp the zeal, or lessen the enthusiasm with which you are upholding and expounding the Bahá'í Principles, for I cherish the greatest hopes for your eventual triumph in such a glorious field of service."

2. Chapter "The Community of Religions" from Randall's book The Meaning of Religion for Man

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