SeminarsPast Seminars

Working group seminars

Working groups arrange seminars to share and stimulate efforts to engage discourses in particular professional and academic fields from a Baháʼí perspective. This page provides an overview of the working groups seminars supported by ABS in recent years. See more under upcoming and recent seminars.

Economies

December 14-16, 2018
Green Acre Baháʼí School, Maine, USA
Attendance: 12

Several small groups shared their work from the previous year, and individuals presented research. Overarching questions for the seminar were: (1) How did the human race create our current market economy, which produces extremes of wealth and poverty as it simultaneously generates high levels of aggregate material wealth? (2) How are communities economic actors?

Education

29 March - 1 April, 2019
Toronto, Canada
Attendance: 43

The focus was on local efforts in Ontario. Questions were explored related to the coherence between the community building process, social action and participation in discourses in Education.

Health

February 2-3, 2019
Bosch Baháʼí School, California, USA
Attendance: 20

The theme of the seminar was integrating material and spiritual perspectives in healthcare. Study focused on the relationship between science and religion. Thematic workshops were held on Re-evaluating the ‘Wellness’ Discourse; Aging and Dying in Society; and Exploring Race in Medicine.

April 12-14, 2019
Green Acre Baháʼí School, Maine, USA
Attendance: 67

The seminar built around sharing and reflecting on the collaborative initiatives that had been pursued within the working group in the preceding year.

February 1-4, 2018
Louhelen Bahá’í School, Michigan, USA
Attendance: 27

Activities included study of guidance, presentations, plenary sessions on challenging discourses, and smaller group sessions within thematic areas.

April 7-9, 2017
Bosch Bahá’í School, California, USA
Attendance: 30

Content included refugee/immigrant health, patient-centered care, aboriginal health and resilience

Law

February 22-25, 2019
Vancouver Center of Learning
Attendance: 32

Participants completed pre readings and discussion within the seminar in an on-going study about engaging in discourses in law. Individuals and groups shared experiences of such engagement. Time was given to planning both small-group projects and a schedule of bi-weekly activities for the working group as a whole.

February 9-11, 2018
Bosch Bahá’í School, California, USA
Attendance: 28

Activities included presentations, sharing of experiences, reflection and planning about contributing to discourses in law.

May 11-14, 2017
Bosch Bahá’í School, California, USA
Attendance: 16

Activities included the study of guidance, group study material within the discourse and Baháʼí-inspired content, and sharing of experiences and consultation about contributing to discourse.

Media and Society

February 15-18, 2019
Bosch Baháʼí School, California, USA
Attendance: 70

The program included sessions to introduce those new to the conversation to the nature and purpose of the effort, to allow those who had relevant work to share it, and to create conversations that could inspire further efforts. Three sub-groups within media held streams: film/video, literature/narrative, and journalism.

February 16-19, 2018
Green Acre Bahá’í School, Maine, USA
Attendance: 59

The themes of commercialization and its alternatives, and representation and identity were explored. Subgroups addressed topics in film, journalism and literature.

Media, Technology and Society

April 14-16, 2017
Green Acre Bahá’í School, Maine, USA
Attendance: 53

Content included discussion of media industries; the role of journalism and film in society; technology and individual and collective agency; globalization, inclusive technology and the digital revolution; the relationship between journalism and social media; media and truth; and other topics.

Religion and Society

April 21-23, 2017
Louhelen Bahá’í School, Michigan, USA
Attendance: 17

Content included study of One Common Faith, post-secularist discourse, and consultation on contributing to the discourse on religion.

Technology and Society

February 10-11, 2018
Vancouver Bahá’í Centre, Canada
Attendance: 35

Presentations explored technology and values as they related to youth and to community decision making.

Thematic seminars

ABS is beginning to learn about holding seminars focused on salient questions, often taking an interdisciplinary approach. See more under “Current and recent seminars” [link].

Methodologies in Academic Research

Toronto, Ontario
18-19 May 2019

With a view to addressing the question of methodology in academic research, as discussed in the Universal House of Justice letter of 24 July 2013, the ABS Executive Committee along with a collaborator organized a two-day seminar for 25 graduate students and faculty to come together to explore the question of methodology within their respective fields and to discuss the implications of the Revelation for this facet of scholarship. Participants, organized in disciplinary groups, held conference calls in advance of the seminar to discuss assigned pre-readings and related questions concerning the harmony of science and religion, the limits of objectivity, the nature of knowledge, the implications of materialism for various fields, and the qualities and attitudes they want to adopt when participating in the generation of knowledge. Participants made plans for next steps within their disciplinary groups and prepared brief summary documents to capture the insights that emerged in the course of the small-group and plenary consultations.

Featured Videos

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