by Lil Osborn
This study is Volume Twenty-four in the academic series Studies in the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions. It is a brilliant, pioneering effort to understand the origins and development of the British Bahá'í community and is the first academic volume devoted to the history of the Bahá'í Faith in Britain.
Based on research done for the author's doctoral dissertation, the book outlines the story of the first people in the British Isles to identify themselves as Bahá'ís. It considers their interests prior to their acceptance of the Bahá'í teachings and how they wove Bahá'í ideas and beliefs into a kaleidoscope of esoteric, occult, social, and political ideas.
This work does not seek to answer the question of "why" people became Bahá'ís. Rather it considers "how." To this end, a linguistic theory of cognition is used as a theoretical framework to explain the context of the networks through which the Bahá'í teachings were disseminated. A must-read for anyone seriously interested in the history of the Bahá'í Faith in the West.
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