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Gate of the Heart
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Co-published with the Association for Baha'i Studies In 1844 a charismatic young Persian merchant from Shiraz, known as the Bab, electrified the Shi'ih world by claiming to be the return of the Hidden Twelfth Imam of Islamic prophecy. But contrary to traditional expectations of apocalyptic holy war, the Bab maintained that the spiritual path was not one of force and coercion but love and compassion. The movement he founded was the precursor of the Baha'i Faith, but until now the Bab's own voluminous writings have been seldom studied and often misunderstood. Gate of the Heart offers the first in-depth introduction to the writings of the Bab. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the author examines the Bab's major works in multifaceted context, explaining the unique theological system, mystical world view, and interpretive principles they embody as well as the rhetorical and symbolic uses of language through which the Bab radically transforms traditional concepts. Arguing that the Babi movement went far beyond an attempt at an Islamic Reformation, the author explores controversial issues and offers conclusions that will compel a re-evaluation of some prevalent assumptions about the Bab's station, claims, and laws. Nader Saiedi's meticulous and insightful analysis identifies the key themes, terms, and concepts that characterize each stage of the Bab's writings, unlocking the code of the Bab's mystical lexicon. Gate of the Heart is a subtle and profound textual study and an essential resource for anyone wishing to understand the theological foundations of the Baha'i religion and the Bab's significance in religious history.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I: The Interpretive Revelation; Part II: The Metaphysics of the Primal Will & Divine Action; Part III: The Primal Point & Progressive Revelation; Index.

About the Author

Nader Saiedi was born in Tehran, Iran, and received his masters degree in economics from Pahlavi University in Shiraz and his PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin. He is a professor of sociology at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. His most recent book is Logos and Civilization: Spirit, History, and Order in the Writings of Bahaiullah (2000).

Reviews

Gate of the Heart will doubtless be much appreciated by those seeking an introduction to the life and writings of the Bab, the Sayyid of Shiraz, who gave his life in promoting a new sacred book and a new religious law for the revolutionary transformation of humankind. In this way it is a worthwhile volume that contributes significantly to the neglected field of Babi-Baha'i studies.''--Stephen N. Lambden "Journal of the American Oriental Society, 130.2, 2010 "

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