Future Books: Please chime in...

posted Nov 4, 2015, 6:56 AM by Charles Thilking   [ updated Nov 5, 2015, 6:35 AM ]

Here are synopses of several books for us to consider for future discussion.

The Face of God Among Us, by John Hatcher:
The Face of God Among Us is an examination of religious history that aims to find out exactly who the founders of the great religions of the past were and what their role has been in the development of human society. Author John Hatcher looks at the lives and stations of the Prophets of the past - Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, the Bab, and Baha'u'llah - and asks: Who exactly were these exalted beings? Were they ordinary humans, temporarily inspired by God? Are they God incarnate, as some believe? Or are they a different category of being all together? In the course of his investigation, Hatcher uncovers a pattern in religious history that seems to hold the answers to all these questions. In doing so, he offers a new insight into the method by which the creator educates humankind, and provides us with a fascinating perspective about our existence on this planet. 

Building a World Federation: The Key to Solving Our Global Crises, by Sovaida Ma'ani Ewing:
As humanity passes through stages of collective growth and moves toward integration and unity, it finds itself caught in the thick of many painful and seemingly intractable challenges that mark a turbulent adolescence--crises such as climate change, financial upheavals, proliferation of nuclear weapons, gross human-rights atrocities, and mismanagement of critical natural resources. In Building a World Federation: The Key to Resolving Our Global Crises, we will examine how we can solve these and similar problems using ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s advice offered a century ago about establishing collective decision-making and implementing institutions that can and should evolve into a world federation of nation-states. We will also explore the lessons we can usefully glean from the American experience of establishing a federation as well as from Europe’s ongoing experiment as it moves towards deeper integration. Finally, we will learn how to respond effectively to skeptics who argue that creating a global federation is a pipe-dream because nations will never be willing to cede sovereignty, and we will equip ourselves with ways to allay fears that such a move will lead to an abusive world government that is so excessively centralized that it will not heed the voices of diverse populations and minorities and will trample upon their rights.

Collective Security Within Reach, 
by Sovaida Ma'ani Ewing:
The world is flailing in the face of successive threats to its peace and security. It is beleaguered by a set of recurring and intensifying crises. What can we do? Sovaida Ma'ani Ewing answers that effective, just, and comprehensive collective security are within the world's grasp. Past efforts and innovative thinking have shown some promise but have been ineffective on their own. The author shows how they fit as isolated pieces within a larger jigsaw puzzle of the principles of the Bahá'í Faith, and suggests ways to improve past efforts and new direction for future exploration. Building upon these principles, she offers concrete, practical, and high impact recommendations for action by the international community to build a system of collective security that will ensure the peace of the world. 

Laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas: Tracing Their Evolution in Religious History
by Baharieh Rouhani Ma'ani and Sovaida Ma'ani Ewing:
Bahá'u'lláh's great Book of Laws, His Most Holy Book, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, contains the laws that are to provide the foundation of a just society and facilitate the development of virtuous individuals for the next thousand years. The laws revealed by Bahá'u'lláh are uniquely fashioned to address this particular period of humanity's social and spiritual evolution.  Yet many of the laws brought by Bahá'u'lláh have their roots in the laws of earlier dispensations and their origin can be discerned in the holy books that assisted people to conduct their affairs from the very beginning of human civilization.  Baharieh Rouhani Ma'ani and Sovaida Ma'ani Ewing trace the evolution of the major laws found in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas through the Old and New Testaments, the Qur'án and the writings of the Báb. Their straightforward account places the laws of Bahá'u'lláh in their historical context and provides fresh insights into their significance for building a new world order.

Creating a Baha'i Identity in Our Childrenby Sovaida Ma'ani Ewing:
Creating a Baha'i Identity in Our Children provides sound practical guidance of direct and immediate use to parents who seek to apply Baha'i principles in the upbringing of the children committed to their care, and to translate into a living reality the high ideals set out in the Baha'i writings. Sovaida Ma'ani brings to this work an astute and trained mind, coupled with her perceptive observation of the complexities of child behavior.

UPDATE: More considerations! 11/5/15

"The Scribe's Promise" is about two young men, one an Armenian Christian and the other a Muslim, who grew up as neighbors in Shiraz   when the Bab announced his mission.  It is a wonderful illustration of life in Persia at the time of the Bab and also a story of two young men from vastly different backgrounds, the pilgrimage they agree to make together to follow the Bab, and how it changes them and their relationship both physically and spiritually.

"Journey of Sorrow, Journey of Hope" is about a young Persian woman whose much older husband dies.  She is brought to the home of a wealthy couple who, unbeknownst to her, are members of a new and controversial religion.  The story is "woven with rich historical detail and heartrending drama, takes us from Persia through Europe in a century-long jouney of pain and promise, of the excitement of travel and of the fulfillment of spiritual purpose".