Videos Available: Three Resources for Deepenings and Firesides

Looking for videos to enhance personal and community deepenings, for enlivening firesides, and for supplementing discussions in Ruhi study circles is a constant challenge. Here are three sources for videos that you can use to enhance your life-long learning experiences: videos of Wilmette Institute Web Talks, videos of Association for Bahá’í Studies Webinars, and videos of the many lectures sponsored by the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland.

Wilmette Institute Web Talk Videos. The newest source for videos comes from the Wilmette Institute itself in the form of the series of twelve monthly Web Talks launched in January 2015 in honor of the Institute’s twentieth anniversary (1995–2015). To date, the Institute has hosted three such Web Talks, which, shortly after they are given to those signing up to hear them initially, are available to everyone as videos through the Institute’s YouTube account. To access the videos, open the Wilmette Institute’s new public website (http://wilmetteinstitute.org), click on the “Web Talk” tab, and select the talk you wish to view. Each talk is some forty-five minutes in length followed by questions and answers.

The three talks available as videos right now are: John Hatcher’s “The Face of God Among Us”; Ian Kluge’s “The Baha’i Proofs for God”; and Anne Perry’s “Where Spirit Intersects Art”. A fourth video will be available after April 12: Moojan Momen’s “The Re‑Creation and Utilization of a Community’s Memories: Shoghi Effendi and Baha’i History”.

You can plan ahead for videos of eight additional talks between May and December 2015 given by Wilmette Institute faculty:

May 3: Dr. Christopher Buck, “God and Apple Pie: Religious Myths and Visions of America”
June 7: Dr. Sandra Lynn Hutchison, “What Every Reader of the Bahá’í Writings Needs to Know”
August 30: Dr. Susanne Alexander, “Healthy, Unified Marriages as Service to Humanity”
September 6: Dr. Arthur Lyon Dahl, “Navigating the Storm: The Transition to Sustainability”
September 28: Dr. Baharieh Rouhani Maani, “The Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees”
October 18: Dr. Sovaida Maani Ewing, “Building a World Federation: The Key to Solving Our Global Crises”
November 15: Dr. Steve Friberg, “Science and Religion”
December 6: Dr. Michael Penn, “The Nature of the Human Mind: A Bahá’í Perspective”

The Wilmette Institute’s Web Talk program has been so successful that the Web Talks will probably continue in 2016 after the end of the twentieth-anniversary year.

Association for Bahá’í Studies Webinars. The Association for Bahá’í Studies (ABS) is the second source of videos. It has been videotaping Webinars for a number of years and has accumulated a library of some twenty videos featuring speakers on a variety of scholarly topics. All Webinars are thirty-minutes long followed by questions and answers.

You can pick your favorite speaker, including Dr. Arash Abizadeh, Dr. Payman Akhavan, Drs. Judie and Michael Bopp, Roshan Danesh, Sovaida Ma’ani Ewing, Keyvan Geula, Paul Hanley, Dr. John Hatcher, Dr. Michael Karlberg, Ian Kluge, Dr. Augusto Lopez-Claros, Dr. Shabnam Mogharabi, Dr. Lisa Molin, Lisa Ortuno and Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman, Dr. Michael Penn, Dr. Robert H. Stockman, or Dr. June Manning Thomas.

Or you can pick a favorite topic or a topic about which you would like to learn more: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to North America and what He taught us; Bahá’í participation in science and religion interfaith initiatives; the Kitáb-i-Aqdas; advancing civilization; emotional intelligence and the long obligatory prayer; the YouTube; technology and social reality; goodness and God; the growth process and social action; food, health, and the environment; women’s rights; competition and oneness; ending poverty; ethical democracy; a scientific view of spirit; world federation; morality and mental health; preventing genocide; and the prophets of God.

To access the ABS library of videos, open the ABS-North America website (http://bahai-studies.ca/major-initiatives/webinars/), and click on the “Initiative” tab, then on “Access Past Webinars.” Select the Webinar you wish to watch and follow the instructions. You will want to revisit the ABS Webinar site frequently, as new videos are added periodically.

The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace. A third source of videos comes from the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland. It has some thirty-two videos accumulated since 2012 when Bahá’í Dr. Hoda Mahmoudi became the third person at the helm of the Bahá’í Chair. The Bahá’í Chair videos showcase scholars in many fields grappling with issues of broad social concern, the resolutions of which will contribute to world peace.

You will be familiar with some of the Bahá’í speakers (Dr. Mahmoudi, Dr. Suheil Bushrui, Dr. Michael Karlberg, Dr. Michael Penn, Judge Dorothy Nelson, Mr. Kenneth Bowers), but you may not recognize many others. But they are speakers whom you will treasure after you hear them speak.

Topics addressed in the Bahá’í Chair videos are ones about which Bahá’ís and friends of Bahá’ís need to know more: racial inequality, the equality of men and women, justice, urbanization and climate change, climate change and food security, inequalities in government, religious pluralism, dignity in education, violence, and more.

As you examine your options among the Bahá’í Chair videos, you will find some patterns: Spring Lectures, Fall Lectures, Annual Lectures, Empowerment of Women Series, Frontiers of Globalization and Governance Series, Structural Racism and the Root Causes of Prejudice, Solidarity Across Differences Series, and more.

If you would like to know more about the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace, its history and mission, you will want to choose the 2012 Inaugural Lecture, including presentations by Dr. Hoda Mahmoudi, Professor John Townshend, Judge Dorothy Nelson, Professor Suheil Bushrui, and Mr. Kenneth Bowers.

To access the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace videos, open its website (http://www.bahaichair.umd.edu/), and click on the “Videos” tab. Then browse the list of choices, and prepare to be amazed and enlightened.

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