“Love ye all religions and all races with a love that is true and sincere and show that love through deeds...” ~ ʻAbdu'l-Bahá
Baha’i schools across the United States offer three- to five-day programs for adults, youth and children on such themes as [ Read More ]
Study circles are regular gatherings of people interested in studying the Baha’i Writings and applying [ Read More ]
The Baha’i community places great emphasis on the moral and spiritual education of children and youth [ Read More ]
Young members of the Baha’i community are encouraged to grow in moral responsibility, often by contributing [ Read More ]
The U.S. Baha’i community has developed curricular materials for the spiritual education of children [ Read More ]
We hope you will enjoy the mix of speakers and the variety of topics discussed every Sunday here on our website [ Read More ]
Christopher Buck, Ph.D., J.D., publishes broadly as an independent scholar in a wide range of fields, including American studies, Native American studies, African American studies, religious studies, Islamic studies, and Baha’i studies. His Ph.D. (University of Toronto, 1996) is in the academic study of religions, and his law degree (2006) is from the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Dr. Buck’s latest book, Bahá’í Faith: The Basics (2021), is an introduction to this independent world religion that promotes unity among religions, races and nations. (See https://www.routledge.com/Bahai-Faith-The-Basics/Buck/p/book/9781138346161 and the selected excerpts from book reviews below.)
Buck’s prior books include: God & Apple Pie: Religious Myths and Visions of America (2015), introduction by J. Gordon Melton (Distinguished Professor of American Religious History, Baylor University); Religious Myths and Visions of America (2009, “an original contribution to American studies,” Journal of American History, June 2011); Alain Locke: Faith & Philosophy (2005); Paradise & Paradigm: Key Symbols in Persian Christianity and the Bahá’í Faith (1999); Symbol & Secret: Qur’an Commentary in Baha’u’llah’s Kitáb-i Íqán (1995/2004) (“represents the first book-length attempt in the English language to analyse one of the major works of Bahá’u’lláh”—Moojan Momen, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, July 1997); Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations (co-author 2011).
Buck has contributed book chapters to such books as: Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (2021); Winds of Change: The Challenge of Modernity in the Middle East and North Africa (2019, three chapters); The Bahá’í Faith and African American History (2019, two chapters); British Writers: “Ninian Smart” (2018); American Writers: “David Bottoms” (2018); Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Qur’an (2017); American Writers: “Deganawida, the Peacemaker” (2016); British Writers: “Edward Granville Browne” (2015); ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Journey West: The Course of Human Solidarity (2013); Observing the Observer: The State of Islamic Studies in American Universities (2012); American Writers: “Kahlil Gibran” (2010); The Islamic World (2008); and American Writers: “Alain Locke” (2004).
Buck has published a number of academic journal articles and encyclopedia articles as well. As for popular, online articles, Buck has contributed 418 articles so far to www.bahaiteachings.org and has collaborated with the late Kevin Locke (Tokaheya Inajin in Lakota, translation “First to Arise”), renowned Lakota hoop dancer and flutist, in the ongoing “Indigenous Messengers of God” series (109 articles). In 2021, Buck and Locke teamed up to teach an online course through the Wilmette Institute, “The Great Spirit Speaks: Voices of the Wise Ones” — offered twice in 2021, by popular demand, and offered again in February 2022.
A former university professor, Buck taught at Pennsylvania State University (2011), Michigan State University (2000–2004), Quincy University (1999–2000), Millikin University (1997–1999), and Carleton University (1994–1996). He currently practices law as an attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he lives with his wife, Nahzy Abadi Buck, and their sons, Takur Buck, M.D., and Taraz Buck, Ph.D.
The concept of "Quickening Power" in the context of Syriac Christian theology and the idea of "Quickeners of Mankind" in Bahá'í teachings represent theological concepts associated with the transformative and redemptive power believed to be at work in the spiritual journey of individuals and humanity as a whole. While the specific terminology and doctrinal nuances may differ, there are underlying themes of spiritual awakening, divine guidance, and the elevation of the soul in both traditions.Syriac Christian Perspective: Christ’s “Quickening Power” and Theōsis
Quickening Power: In Syriac Christian theology, the term "Quickening Power" may be associated with the transformative and life-giving influence of the Holy Spirit. The concept is rooted in the idea that through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, believers experience a spiritual rebirth and are "quickened" or brought to life in a profound spiritual sense.
Theōsis: The term "Theōsis" is a Greek word meaning divinization or deification. It is a concept within Eastern Orthodox Christianity that describes the process of becoming one with God or attaining a union with the divine. The idea is that through the transformative power of the Holy Spirit, human beings can partake in the divine nature.Bahá'í Perspective: Bahá’u’lláh’s “Quickeners of Mankind”
Quickeners of Mankind: In Bahá'í teachings, the term "Quickeners of Mankind" refers to the Manifestations of God—prophets and messengers—who appear throughout history to guide humanity spiritually and socially. These figures, including Bahá'u'lláh, are seen as divine educators and sources of spiritual power that quicken the souls of individuals and contribute to the advancement of civilization.
Progressive Revelation: The Bahá'í Faith emphasizes the concept of progressive revelation, suggesting that throughout history, God has sent successive messengers with teachings appropriate for the evolving needs of humanity. Each manifestation quickens humanity spiritually and contributes to its moral and social progress.Comparisons and Parallels:
Spiritual Transformation: Both traditions highlight the idea of spiritual transformation through a divine agency. Whether it is the Quickening Power associated with the Holy Spirit in Christianity or the Quickeners of Mankind represented by the Manifestations of God in Bahá'í teachings, the goal is the spiritual upliftment of individuals and society.
Divine Guidance: Both traditions emphasize the role of divine guidance in the form of messengers or manifestations. These figures serve as intermediaries between humanity and the divine, providing guidance, laws, and spiritual teachings to quicken the souls of believers.
Universal Salvation: Both Syriac Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith hold a vision of universal salvation. The transformative power at work is not limited to a select few but is intended for the entire human race, reflecting a universalist perspective.
In exploring these concepts, it's essential to consider the unique theological frameworks and historical contexts of each tradition. While the terminology may differ, the underlying themes of spiritual quickening, divine guidance, and the transformative power of the divine are points of convergence between Syriac Christian and Bahá'í paradigms.