Dr. Todd Lawson Presents a Trilogy of Web Talks: “The Qur’an and Islam: Explorations from a Bahá’í Perspective”

April showers, according to a proverb, bring May flowers. But in this case April brings its own bounty in the form of three Web Talks on the Qur’an and Islam. On three successive Sundays, Dr. Todd Lawson will give a three-part series of talks on “The Qur’an and Islam: Explorations from a Bahá’í Perspective.” The dates for your calendar are April 9, 16, and 23. As usual, the Web Talks are free, but you will need to sign up in advance for each of the talks.

About the importance of the Qur’an, Todd says this: “The Bahá’í Faith teaches that, apart from its own vast body of divine revelation, the Qur’an is the only other completely authentic scripture currently available to humanity.” He goes on to observe that the Bahá’í writings, whether from Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, or the Universal House of Justice “are characterized by a consistent and powerful admiration for, references to, and quotations from the Qur’an.” Thus it is “true to say that there is much Qur’an in the Bahá’í teachings.” In the three Web Talks, Todd concludes, “we will study the form and contents of the Qur’an as a subject of importance in itself and as a way of deepening our knowledge of the Bahá’í Faith.”

Sunday, April 9, “The Qur’an, the First Book in Arabic.” In his first Web Talk on April 9, Todd will discuss “The Qur’an, the First Book in Arabic.” Portions of the talk will be devoted to the Qur’an’s form and contents; interpretation, including exegesis and understanding; and the Hadith.

Sunday, April 16, “The Qur’an in the Writings of Bahá’ulláh and the Báb. For his second Web Talk on April 16, Todd will discuss “The Qur’an in the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and Báb.” One section will discuss the Báb’s use of the Qur’an in His writings; the second section will explore Bahá’u’lláh’s use of the Qur’an; and the final section will discuss interpretation as revelation and the hermeneutic spiral.

Sunday, April 23, “The Qur’anic Epic and the Creation of Humanity.” Todd final talk in the trilogy on April 23 will be “The Qur’anic Epic and the Creation of Humanity.” He will discuss the Qur’an as an epic; the apocalypse; and progressive revelation and a theory of modernity.

Each of Todd’s three talks on the Qur’an and the Bahá’í Faith will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Western European time).

Todd is Professor Emeritus of Islamic Thought, University of Toronto. He has been a Bahá’í since 1968 and has been a member, since 1975, of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, which awarded him the distinguished book award for his study of the Qayyúm al-asmá, Gnostic apocalypse in Islam (Routledge 2012) Todd has published numerous articles and books on the relationship between the Bahá’í Faith and Islam, Qur’an commentary, Sufism and Shi‘ism, his most recent being http://www.brill.com/products/reference-work/roads-paradise-eschatology-and-concepts-hereafter-islam-2-vols. He lives in Montreal with his wife, daughter, and grandchildren.

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