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Gate of the Heart


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Table of Contents

Table of Contents for Gate of the Heart: Understanding the Writings of the BA b by Nader Saiedi Preface Introduction A Short Chronological List of the BA bas Writings Part I: The Interpretive Revelation The Mode of Interpretation The Divine Chemistry of Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth The Remembrance, the Gate, and the Dust The Structure of the QayyAmual-AsmA a The QayyAmual-AsmA a as Interpretation Part II: The Metaphysics of the Primal Will and Divine Action The Sanctuary of the Heart and the Path to Truth The Primal Will as the Unity of Subject and Object The Stages of Divine Creative Action The Epistle of Justice and the Root Principles of Religion Part III: The Primal Point and Progressive Revelation Resurrection and Historical Consciousness History and the Perspective of Unity Community and the Primal Unity Ethics and Laws in the BayA n The Law of the Sword and the Twin Revelations Notes References Index

About the Author

Nader Saiedi was born in Tehran, Iran, and received his masteras 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 BahA iauallA h (2000).


"The author successfully embeds the discourse of the Bab in both nineteenth-century and contemporary thinking. His sociological approach does not rob these Writings of their revelatory grace, nor does his faith in those Writings preclude a detailed analysis of their significance for society. Students of religion, society, hermeneutics, and history of religion will welcome Gate of the Heart as a bridge between religion and social science. It offers a fine example of how others might approach an analysis of revelatory writing." -- Will C. van den Hoonaard, Professor Emeritus, University of New Brunswick, and author ofThe Origins of the Baha'i Community of Canada, 1898-1948(WLUP, 1996) -- 200803
"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, University of California, Merced -- Journal of the American Oriental Society, 130.2, 2010, 201104
"A pioneering and groundbreaking work ... provides fundamental keys for understanding some of the distinctive features of the writings of the Bab." -- Vahid Rafati, Centre for the Study of the Text, Haifa, Israel -- 200801
"The writings of the Bab are like a giant puzzle in which we continually come across words and phrases that seem obscure; but if one persists the key to deciphering them can be found in a different part of the same work or even in another work of the Bab. Through his perseverance in finding these codes and putting them to use in reading key texts, Saiedi has enabled us to take a major step forward in understanding the Bab's works." -- Moojan Momen -- Religion, Vol. 40, 2010, 201007
"With special emphasis on the Bab's symbolism and logic, Gate of the Heart is based on meticulous scholarship and profound spiritual understanding. At the same time, it elucidates both the historic significance and contemporary relevance of the Bab's writings. Written in a clear and engaging style, Gate of the Heart is a welcome contribution to Baha'i Studies, the study of World Religions, and the study of Spirituality." -- Tamara Sonn, The College of William and Mary -- 200803
"The Baha'i Faith, a religion that is growing steadily around the world, claims two prophet-founders: the Bab and Baha'u'llah. While Baha'u'llah's teachings and works supersede those of the Bab and are most authoritative for Baha'is, the Bab's works retain scriptural status. For a figure who started a revolutionary new religion in Persia (Iran) in the first half of the nineteenth century and soon commanded thousands of devoted followers, a large number of whom were tortured and killed for their adherence to the new faith, who produced an extraordinary volume of treatises (some 27 works) of profound theological depth and subtlety, and whose own life was cut short at the age of 32 by the orders of the Shah, it is surprising that there is so little scholarship in English on the works of Siyyid Ali-Muhammed Shirazi, known as the Bab or `gate' (though Todd Lawson's work in this area is notable). Thus, Saiedi's erudite and illuminating exposition of the Bab's writings in indeed welcome.... His analysis tends to be careful, balanced, and compelling.... The Gate of the Heart is ... not only for those interested in Babi studies, or in the Qur'anic interpretation or Shi'i theological debates, but also for anyone willing to consider some truly novel ways of understanding the grand tableau of religious history from the perspective of a faith that calls humanity to reconsider the conceptual basis upon which we will shape our common future.'' -- Anne M. Pearson, McMaster University -- Studies in Religion, 39 (1), 201010

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