By R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram
This book offers an in-depth and scholarly examination of the development
of music and devotional life within the American Bahá'í
community from its beginnings in the 1890s to the present. Surveying
this past, the author critically discusses the Bahá'í
devotional practice that would draw on the rich heritage he has
uncovered. Based on the author's doctoral dissertation, the book
relates the history of the use of music and devotions among the
early Bahá'ís of Chicago, the development of Bahá'í
hymns, the opposition to their use, and their eventual abandonment.
He then turns his attention to the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár,
the Bahá'í Temple in Wilmette, Illinois, as the most
potent symbol of Bahá'í devotion. He discusses the
history of the design and construction of the Temple and the controversies
which surrounded both. Finally, he examines the question of worship
in the Temple since its dedication in 1953.
This is the fourth in a series of volumes devoted to the academic
study of the Bábí and Bahá'í religions.
It is an absorbing study and a vital addition to the library of
any student of Bahá'í history.
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