`Irfan Colloquium at Louhelen Baha’i School Featured Five Wilmette Faculty and Learners

Attendees at Irfan Colloquium 2011The 107th `Irfan Colloquium, held at Louhelen Baha’i School, October 8-10, 2011, featured eleven speakers, five of whom have a current Wilmette Institute connection.

The program began Saturday morning with “Abbas Effendi in Egypt: Centenary of His Visit (1910-1913)” by Nabil Fares, who has been faculty for several Wilmette Institute courses, notably Huququ’llah.

Saturday afternoon, Habib Riazati spoke about “Synopsis of Shared Themes in the Persian Bayan and the Kitab-i-Iqan.” Mr. Riazati has taught several courses on Baha’i scripture for the Institute. Later that afternoon Robert Stockman, the Institute’s Director, spoke about “Race, Religion, and Progress in the Talks and Actions of `Abdu’l-Baha.”

On Sunday Iraj Ayman, a former faculty member and former member of the Wilmette Institute Board, spoke about “The Institution of the Nineteen Day Feast: An Administrative and Social-Psychological Perspective.”

Perhaps the most interesting talk of the program, also on Sunday, was given by Paula Bidwell, a learner in several Wilmette Institute courses. She discussed “Deganawidah the Peacemaker—Many Messengers of God: A Native American Perspective.” Bidwell applied the standard list of proofs for a Messenger of God given in the Kitab-i-Iqan (a Wilmette Institute course she had taken recently) to Deganawidah, a prophetic figure who lived in New York State in the sixteenth century.

At least one other presenter is considering serving as a faculty member of Wilmette Institute, which means that next year the Wilmette Institute may have even more participants in the `Irfan Colloquium.

The entire `Irfan Colloquium program, including a simultaneous program of twelve talks held in Persian, can be found at: http://irfancolloquia.org/107/. We hope more people can attend and participate in the stimulating discussion on the history and teachings of the Faith that the `Irfan Colloquium always produces.

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