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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Mrs. Mariella C. Ladd Oldendorf (1861-?) moved to Benson Siding in 1910 and started a Bahá'í group there, which, in April 1918, was approved as an “Assembly” by Bahái Temple Unity (Star of the West, 17 May 1918, p.
The Montreal Bahá'ís received circulars, such as those from Mason Remey, a prominent early American believer, asking people to sign a petition for 'Abdu'1-Bahá to come to North America (CHSR, 30 April 1906).
The Spence family was Presbyterian. 16 Based on the works of Heindel (1950), Lewis (1971), Yates (1971), but especially Mclntosh (1987), James Kerr's synopsis provides the substance of this section. 17 “Membership List,” 14 April 1913, ...
17 “Membership List,” 14 April 1913, AL, Box 27, Folder 18. 18 Ibid. 19 Chase's trip must have taken place between 19 and 23 May 1903, as indicated by his correspondence from Chicago (18 May 1903 and 24 May 1903, TCP).
... the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada, gave a talk there, about 150 were in the audience, and all but one radio station refused to publicize the event (Bahá'í News, No. 194 [April 1947]:11).
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The Origins of the Bahá'í Community of Canada, 1898-1948
Will C. van den Hoonaard
Limited preview - 1996