Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

There are many people to thank for their help in the development of this book. First of all, I would like to thank my wife Katie and daughters Ivy and Maya for their unswerving support throughout this process. I made extensive use of several archives to do this work, and would like to thank Roger Dahl and Lewis...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-10

The first day of Riḍván, when the Universal House of Justice messages are released, is also the beginning of the Bahá’í administrative year, when throughout the world all Local Spiritual Assemblies are elected. The Universal House of Justice...

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1. Bahá’í History, Beliefs, Outreach, and Administration

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pp. 11-44

Like all world religious movements, the religious history of the Bahá’í Faith is complex. While many book-length volumes have been written about Bahá’í history (e.g., Smith 1987, 1996; Momen 1996; Stockman 1985, 1995; Garlington...

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2. Riḍván Messages from the Universal House of Justice, 1964–2013

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pp. 45-128

The first day of Riḍván, when the Universal House of Justice messages are released, is also the beginning of the Bahá’í administrative year, when throughout the world all Local Spiritual Assemblies are elected. The Universal House of Justice composes letters to individual Bahá’ís and assemblies often, but the significance...

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3. Institution Building, Mass Growth, and Racial Unity

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pp. 129-168

The period 1964 to 1979 marked tremendous change for the American Bahá’í community. This period followed the first election of the Universal House of Justice (1963), which was the crowning achievement of the “Ten-Year World Crusade” launched by Shoghi Effendi in 1953. This election set the stage...

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4. Persian Immigrants and Emergence from Obscurity

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pp. 169-212

From 1979 to 1996, the America Bahá’í community “emerged from obscurity” and began to actively shape its own identity amidst the diversity of the American religious landscape (see Eck 2001; Wuthnow 2005). This period included the offering of the Seven-Year Plan, Six-Year Plan, Holy Year, and Three...

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5. New Directions and Bahá’í Community Development

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pp. 213-248

Beginning with the Four-Year Plan (4YP) in 1996, the American Bahá’í community began to move in a paradigmatically new direction and initiated a new stage in its maturation, and the Riḍván messages were more frequently supplemented by additional, often lengthy, letters from the House of Justice that offered...

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Conclusion

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pp. 249-258

The last fifty years of American Bahá’í history can be divided into three thematic phases: the first was the period 1964–1979, describing the 9YP and 5YP; the second was the period 1979–1996, covering the 7YP, 6YP, Holy Year, and 3YP; and the third was the period 1996–2013, representing the 4YP, Twelve-Month...

Notes

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pp. 259-262

Bibliography

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pp. 263-270

Index

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pp. 271-278

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About the Author

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pp. 279-279

Mike McMullen is Professor of Sociology and Cross Cultural Studies at the University of Houston–Clear Lake in Houston, Texas. He received his doctorate from Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia). His first book The Bahá’í: The...