PARADISE AND PARADIGM: Key Symbols in Persian Christianity and the Baha'i Faith

Paradise and Paradigm

By Christopher Buck.
Published by the State University of New York Press.
Distributed as Studies in the Babi and Baha'i Religions, Volume Ten.

Paradise and Paradigm is the first academic comparison of the Bahá'í Faith and Christianity. Dr. Buck, a Pittsburgh attorney and former professor at Michigan State University (2000–2004), Quincy University (1999–2000), Millikin University (1997–1999), and Carleton University (1994–1996), compares the "key symbols" and "root metaphors" found in the sacred writings of Bahá’u’lláh with their counterparts in the writings of St. Ephrem the Syrian and (d. 373) other writings of early Persian Christianity. The results are fascinating and original.

Retail price: $39.95, paperback only (4062-1)


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"If the Baha’i Faith has a specialist in comparative religion, it is Christopher Buck...This volume is certainly...the best comparative work on the Bahá’í Faith and another religious tradition that has yet appeared, and may serve as a model for future such studies." -- William Collins, Bahá’í Studies Review (2002)

"As a piece of Baha’i scholarship it remains unparalleled. In terms of academic comparative efforts involving the Baha’i Faith, Buck’s book is a pioneering work." -- Daniel Grolin, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences (July 2000)

"This is a provocative and ground-breaking work. Its careful attention to methodology and its attempt to work through the project with the attitude of experimentation will provide a significant impulse to the study of religion." -- Andrew Rippin, University of Toronto Quarterly (2002)

"Paradise and Paradigm is a goldmine of information about two relatively little studied but fascinating developments in Middle Eastern religious history." -- John Renard, Middle East Studies Association Bulletin 34.2 (2000): 212–213.

"It opens new possibilities for comparison and suggests new methodological approaches." -- Kathleen McVey, International Journal of Middle East Studies (2003)

"This book is a model of comparison, an eye-opener...and quite a useful and revealing account of the Báhá'í [religion]." -- William Paden, University of Vermont

"It is a must for university libraries and for faculty/graduate student readers of the Christian, Islamic and Baha'i traditions. It is a model for careful comparative analysis between religions." -- Harold Coward, University of Victoria