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A Compilation on Scholarship

  • Author:
  • Various

  • Source:
  • Compiled by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice, Bahá’í World Centre, February 1995
  • Pages:
  • 28
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Pages 13-15

41: “The House of Justice recognizes that the questions you raise, concerning…”

The House of Justice recognizes that the questions you raise, concerning the offer of newly enrolled professionals to share their views with the Bahá’í community, are of vital and timely importance, especially as the Faith emerges from obscurity and increasing numbers of professionals from all walks of life are attracted to its Teachings. The process of integrating these experts into Bahá’í communities as well-grounded believers and tapping their potential as promoters and supporters of the Cause will require patient and loving guidance by Bahá’í institutions. A great challenge will be to avoid undue disruption of this process of integration by abandoning such persons to the insensitive attitudes still present in communities not yet broadly diverse or accustomed to dealing with all ranks of society.
Scholars and professionals are well accustomed to encountering new facts in the course of their research which require them to adjust previous thinking on various aspects of their discipline. In the case of their deepening in the Teachings of the Faith it naturally takes time for them to study and absorb so many new concepts. They must be assisted to acquire, as quickly as possible, profound knowledge of the Teachings. Gradually this knowledge will shed new light on their previous views. At the same time, Bahá’í communities will need to develop greater tolerance toward ideas that may not coincide with their current understanding, and remain open to new insights…. 14
Newly enrolled professionals and other experts provide a great resource for the development of Bahá’í scholarship. It is hoped that, as they attain a deeper grasp of the Teachings and their significance, they will be able to assist Bahá’í communities in correlating the beliefs of the Faith with the current thoughts and problems of the world. In some instances Bahá’ís of a particular profession have come together in special conferences or organized themselves into an association for this purpose. This also allows them to support one another as Bahá’ís and to take advantage of their professional status to promote the interests of the Faith. Current examples of professional associations of this type are the Bahá’í Justice Society and the Bahá’í Medical Association, both in the United States. Special encouragement should therefore be given to believers of unusual capacity to consecrate their abilities to the service of the Cause through the unique contribution they can make to this rapidly developing field of Bahá’í endeavour.
(18 April 1989 on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly) [41]