Montreal, August 14, 2016 – Some 1500 participants celebrated the 40th annual conference of the Association for Bahá’í Studies this year at the Sheraton Centre. The annual conference has developed as one way in which the Association brings together a growing number of contributors to explore the implications of the Bahá’í teachings for a variety of disciplines, professions and fields of inquiry. The common purpose is to develop our capacity to examine the ideas, concepts, and theories operating within the scholarly and professional disciplines, and to contribute to the development of a growing body of knowledge associated with Bahá’í thought.

With this purpose in mind, the conference was served as a venue in which fresh approaches could be taken to generate and apply knowledge related to various disciplines and fields of study. Participants were invited to consider how they can play a role in working with others “to earnestly strive to reflect on the implications that the truths found in the Revelation may hold for their work.”

Plenary sessions helped to raise our vision and frame our thinking, and breakout sessions created spaces where specialized presentations and discussion proceeded. Across these different settings participants discovered new ideas and begun to explore collaborative enterprises that will extend new lines of inquiry. The hope is that the format and spirit of the conference were conducive to participation so that all could see themselves as actively engaged in a vibrant, inclusive and uplifting process of learning.

in 1975, the Association for Bahá’í Studies has served to foster the intellectual life of its members and of the Bahá’í community. The “power of intellectual investigation” is praised by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as “an eternal gift producing fruits of unending delight.” He says, “It is the very foundation of all individual and national development.” The Bahá’í teachings convey a vision of the future that calls for “profound change not only at the level of the individual but also in the structure of society.” This concerted effort to transform society is intimately related to advances in thought: “Only as effort is made to draw on insights from His Revelation, to tap into the accumulating knowledge of the human race, to apply His teachings intelligently to the life of humanity, and to consult on the questions that arise will the necessary learning occur and capacity be developed.”


The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912 (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1982).

The Universal House of Justice, Ridván Message 2010.  

The Universal House of Justice, Ridván Message 2010.

The Universal House of Justice, Letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada, 24 July 2013.




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