A Non-Artist Takes the Bahá’í Faith and the Arts Course to Learn How Arts Will Contribute to a New Civilization

The Wilmette Institute course The Bahá’í Faith and the Arts (faculty Anne Perry, Peggy Caton, Sandra Lynn Hutchison, and Marjan Nirou Saniee) generally attracts learners who write, paint, draw, compose or sing music, or engage in some other artistic endeavor. In case of a learner from Greece, this was not the case. The student enrolled to learn more about the arts and how they will contribute to an ever-advancing civilization. Read on to see how this learner put new understandings to work in one of the core activities—devotionals.

“Concerning evaluating myself in terms of my Personal Learning Plan: I remember posting it and receiving a reply and now can find neither. I do remember the main motivation for registering for the course. It was to improve my understanding of the arts and especially the Bahá’í Faith and the arts and their role in creating divine civilization. I have found that reflecting on the course materials is a joyous experience! And reflecting on the postings is unpacking one intriguing gift after another.

“Even though I have yet to ‘finish’ the course materials and postings, there have been practical results. There have been two devotionals using the Bahá’í writings on the arts and crafts. The friends participating expressed their happiness. Even if we had not verbalized it, our happiness was revealed on our faces and voices. One friend (a professional artist) shared that, after a very long pause of not painting, she is once again painting. Another friend, an avowed ‘I-don’t-get-art;-I don’t-do-art;-it-isn’t-for-me,’ was likewise visibly moved and went on to participate in the hand-lettering activity that followed. Encouraged by the Wilmette Institute course, I aim to continue drawing on the aforesaid writings to warm hearts via devotionals and create opportunities for others to share their art.

“Another of my Personal Learning Plan goals was to pray for my co-learners, and this was achieved on most days.

“Thank you, Wilmette Institute!!”

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