Seven scholars, Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís, have contributed essays to this important new volume on the history of the Bábí and Bahá’í religions in Iran. Discussed here are aspects of that history which are still only barely understood and which are examined here for the first time. The first three essays focus on the Bábís. Steven Lambden writes on the Islamic origins of the stories about the Báb’s childhood that found their way into Nabíl’s Narrative and other Bábí histories. Peter Smith and Moojan Momen analyze the Bábí movement, raising questions about recruitment, finances, communications, and so forth. Denis MacEoin discusses early Bábí systems of hierarchy and authority.
The last three essays turn to Bahá’í history. Christopher Buck examines Bahá’u’lláh’s multiple claims to messiahship. R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram uncovers the struggles of the American Bahá’í women who taught at the Tarbiyat School in Iran from 1909 to 1934. Mehri Samandari Jensen outlines her research on family planning and the use of birth control among Bahá’ís and Muslims in contemporary Iran.
This book, the third in a series devoted to the academic study of the Bábí and Bahá’í religions, is a vital addition to the library of any serious student of Bahá’í history.