Leyla MELIKOVA


Leyla Melikova, Ph.D. (Philos.), Senior Research Fellow, History of Religion and Social Thought Department, Academician Buniyatov Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan).


HOW BAHAISM TRAVELLED FROM THE EAST TO THE WEST
(IDEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION OF THE NEO-UNIVERSALIST RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE)

ABSTRACT

The author places the ideological evolution of the Bahai faith as a religious doctrine in the context of the social and cultural trends of Western neoliberal ideology and globalism. She classifies this religious teaching, born in Iran in the mid-19th century (1844) out of the Shia-Imamite messianic doctrine and fully developed by 1863, as a neo-universalist religious concept, the moral and ethical values of which did not offer sensational revelations, but followed the religious provisions of other faiths. Her analysis of the phenomenological aspects and quintessence of Bahaism in the context of historical conditions and the factors that made it possible, the Bahais religious identity, their relations with the environment, society, and the state reveals the contradictory and utopian nature of this faith.

Keywords: Bahaism, the Bab, Baháulláh, Abdul-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, globalism, neo-universalist religions, universalism, cosmopolitism.

Introduction

By the turn of the 20th century, the institution of the church had gradually lost its followers amid the cultural and spiritual crisis in the West, which kindled a wide interest in all sorts of religious cults and theosophical, mainly Oriental, trends. Later, the new religiosity born of the culture of modernity rebounded as a fairly specific postmodernist, sociocultural phenomenon. An attentive listener, however, can discern a consistent call in the postmodernist cacophony to universalism and unification of mankind for the sake of..


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