New Books by Three Wilmette Institute Faculty

Three new books by three Wilmette Institute faculty members are now available, two from Amazon and one from the Bahá’í Distribution Service. The works are: 

  • Trip Barthel, Transforming Conflict into Consensus: 9 Keys to Synergy.
  • Ted Brownstein, The Interfaith Prayer Book: New Expanded Edition.
  • Robert H. Stockman, The Bahá’í Faith: A Guide for the Perplexed.

All three can be used in teaching about the Bahá’í Faith and/or teaching about some of the principles of the Bahá’í Faith.

Transforming Conflict into Consensus: 9 Keys to Synergy. Trip Barthel’s 173-page book Transforming Conflict into Consensus: 9 Keys to Synergy is available in paperback from Amazon.

Transforming ConflictThe back-cover copy explains the book this way: “How should we educate our children? How can we improve the health of our community? How can we provide opportunities for economic prosperity? How can we have a just, sustainable and peaceful society? It’s difficult enough to make decisions and solve problems as individuals. Life, however, is larger, more complicated and more challenging when we must consider others’ feelings or deal with others’ actions.

“Affirmative Facilitation is a positive approach that generates greater empathy, more options and better choices based on the values we all share. More than mere problem solving, Transforming Conflict into Consensus offers a new paradigm for living unified lives full of engagement and meaning.”

The description goes on to say that Barthel “teaches us the skills needed to think for ourselves and work with groups to resolve and move forward in consensus.” He “has synthesized the best techniques used worldwide and has created an essential, easy to use guide to unified group decision making.”

Barthel, whose Wilmette Institute course Dynamic Consultation: Nine Keys to Unity will be offered from July 1 through August 18, 2014, holds a M.A.C.R degree from Antioch University. He is Founder and past Executive Director of the Neighborhood Conflict Center in Reno, Nevada; past president of the Nevada Dispute Resolution Coalition; and a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution. He has conducted over 400 conflict resolutions and 50 arbitrations worldwide. Barthel serves on the Advisory Board for Mediators Beyond Borders and the Asia Pacific Conflict Resolution Forum. After pioneering in China for five years, he is currently spending a number of months in India, helping with curriculum development and training at the Bahá’í Academy in Panchgani. 

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Interfaith Prayer BookThe Interfaith Prayer Book: New Expanded Edition. Ted Brownstein has compiled a new, longer version of a book first published in 2001; it is called The Interfaith Prayer Book: New Expanded Edition. Whereas the first edition contained prayers from six religious traditions (Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, and Bahá’í), the expanded edition adds eight additional traditions: Native African, Native American, Zoroastrian, Taoist, Confucian, Shinto, Jain, and Sihh. The book is available from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/The-Interfaith-Prayer-Book-Expanded/dp/0983260974/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1397065870&sr=8-2&keywords=interfaith+prayer.

The aim of the interfaith prayer book is “to further enrich our devotional practice, to share a taste of our planet’s diverse spiritual heritage and to deepen our sense of interfaith connectedness. Nothing brings us closer to each other than prayer.” The first edition of the book was popular for personal reflection and in interfaith devotionals and found its way into hospitals, motel rooms, and college classrooms. The new edition is bound to exceed the popularity of the first edition.

The interfaith prayer book was published under the aegis of the Lake Worth (Florida) Interfaith Network, which is “a group of individuals and inter-faith communities dedicated to promoting acceptance and understanding among diverse spiritual traditions through devotions, education and compassionate action.”

Brownstein, who has taught a number of Wilmette Institute courses (Judaism for Deepening and Dialogue, Christianity for Deepening and Dialogue, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, Preparing for Interfaith Dialogue), is a Bahá’í of Jewish and Christian background. He holds a Master’s degree in Biblical Hebrew from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Cofounder of the Lake Worth Interfaith Network, he serves on the Lake Worth Martin Luther Day Committee and the Lake Worth Centennial Committee Among his several publications is Pioneers of Jewell, a documentary history of early African American and white settlers of Lake Worth. 

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The Bahá’í Faith: A Guide for the Perplexed. Robert H. Stockman’s new introduction to the Bahá’í Faith is available in paperback from the Bahá’í Distribution Service (http://bahaibookstore.com/).

GuidePerplexedCoverStockman’s new 224-page book “explores the global and humanity-embracing vision of the Bahá’í Faith, including its history and principles for personal spiritual transformation and the development of spiritualized marriages, families, Bahá’í communities, and, ultimately, a spiritual world civilization.” The book’s two sections cover the Bahá’í Teachings and the Development of the Bahá’í Community, each section having a number of chapters.

Moojan Momen, a Wilmette Institute faculty member and an author and researcher on the Bahá’í Faith and Islam, has this to say about the new book: “Robert Stockman has written an introduction to the Bahá’í Faith that is both thorough and accessible. He is not afraid to tackle difficult and controversial subjects and, although there is a wide range of views about most subjects among Bahá’ís, he appears to have captured well the majority view. There is particularly good coverage of the history of the Bahá’í Faith.”

Stockman’s book was published by Bloomsbury Academic in the U.K. as part of its Guide for the Perplexed series, which are “clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers, and subjects that students and readers find especially challenging. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.” Some of the topics of other books in the Perplexed series are Confucius, Kabbalah, Mysticism, New Religious Movements, Zoroastrianism, Sufism, Spirituality, and Daoism. Stockman was invited to write the book on the Bahá’í Faith.

Stockman, the Director of the Wilmette Institute, holds a doctorate in religious studies from Harvard University and teaches religious studies part-time at Indiana University, South Bend. He has published many articles and a number of books about the Bahá’í Faith including The Bahá’í Faith in America: Origins, 1892–1900, The Bahá’í Faith in America: Early Expansion, 1900–1912, and Thornton Chase: First American Bahá’í.