The Origins of the Bahá’í Community of Canada, 1898-1948
Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 2010 M10 30 - 368 pages
What binds together Louis Riel’s former secretary, a railroad inventor, a Montreal comedienne, an early proponent of Canada’s juvenile system and a prominent Canadian architect? Socialists, suffragists, musicians, artists—from 1898 to 1948, these and some 550 other individual Canadian Bahá’ís helped create a movement described as the second most widespread religion in the world.
Using diaries, memoirs, official reports, private correspondence, newspapers, archives and interviews, Will C. van den Hoonaard has created the first historical account of Bahá’ís in Canada. In addition, The Origins of the Bahá’í Community of Canada, 1898-1948 clearly depicts the dynamics and the struggles of a new religion in a new country.
This is a story of modern spiritual heroes—people who changed the lives of others through their devotion to the Bahá’í ideals, in particular to the belief that the earth is one country and all of humankind are its citizens.
Thirty-nine original photographs effectively depict persons and events influencing the growth of the Bahá’í movement in Canada.
The Origins of the Bahá’í Community of Canada, 1898-1948 makes an original contribution to religious history in Canada and provides a major sociological reference tool, as well as a narrative history that can be used by scholars and Bahá’ís alike for many years to come.
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Yet Bahá'í communities existed in about half a dozen other localities in Canada in the pre-1921 period. Moreover, much of the early Canadian history revolves around the personality and activities of May Maxwell of Montreal (“In Memoriam ...
In 1897, when he turned thirty-three, this “socialist organizer” (Flanagan, 1976: 175-76) grew weary of his activities, married for the first time in his life, and discovered the Bahá'í Faith. He had followed Kheiralla's classes in ...
The movement had its roots in the humanitarian and anti-slavery activities of the Unitarians and transcendentalists earlier in the century. It was a reaction against exaggerated forms of North American individualism and unrestrained ...
In the absence of a clergy, it was left to individuals to undertake this activity. Initially, a few teachers received remuneration. As translations of the Bahá'í writings later became more widely available, however, it became clear that ...
The first Bahá'í decade in Canada witnessed the emergence of Montreal as the Bahá'í centre of activity. No wonder that several of the travelling teachers made a point of touching base with that city. Although there is evidence that ...
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The Origins of the Bahá'í Community of Canada, 1898-1948
Will C. van den Hoonaard
Limited preview - 1996