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 INTRODUCTORY NOTES

This website is in the process of being setup to share old, current and ongoing work in the fields of Biblical, Islamic, Shī`ī-Shaykhī and Bābī-Bahā'ī Studies. It will replace my now dated, unrevised, inadequate and now  removed UK-based site (... hurqalya.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk.). A few links from this old site (which I have been unable to correct or update for more then eight years) were originally carried over to these new UCMerced webpages. Here and there are unlinked graphics and URLs originating in the old site; these will, in due course, be revised and replaced. From 09-09-2016 many new links and PDfs will be corrected and uploaded.

None of the UCMerced webpages, translations or other materials posted on this site, represent official views of UCMerced or of the Baha'i religion and its institutions. Everything here is an expression of my personal, fallible academic researches. 

Many of the text files to be posted here are written with Unicode fonts (e.g. Arial Unicode MS, Times New Roman, etc) which exist within many (especially Microsoft) operating systems and font collections. These fonts exist in numerous varieties and are generally compatible with each other.  Their use makes visible the academic transliterations used on this Website including, for example, Arabic, Persian and the biblical languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) as well as that of key scriptural languages of major world religions. For the academic transliteration used here the Unicode font should contain: Basic Latin; Latin-1; Latin Extended-A; Latin Extended-B and Latin extended Additional. For Arabic and Persian and certain of the scriptural languages (Hebrew and Greek, etc) this Website often makes use of an expanded Unicode version of Times New Roman.

Set forth on this Website are papers, notes, bibliographies and English translations from Arabic, Persian and other sometimes scriptural languages of Islamic, Shī`ī -Shaykhī and Bābī-Bahā'ī primary, secondary and other sources, some dating as far back as 1978. Many are distinctly provisional in the sense of being constantly subject to revision and correction. In this connection I would be delighted to receive critical suggestions for improvement, preferably communicated by email to my UC-Merced email address =  slambden@ucmerced.edu. Previously published papers will be set forh in PDf., sometimes along with updated, expanded or corrected web versions.  

Syzygy: A Journal of Bābī-Bahā'ī Studies

In addition to the Web publishing of revised versions of portions of my work, the now 30 year old periodical Bahā'ī Studies Bulletin   (BSB) will gradually be revised and re-published here. At some stage in the future (2016-7) it is hoped that this or a related site will also update my other ongoing periodical project   entitled Syzygy: A Journal of Bābī-Bahā'ī Studies. This latter journal will be primarily concerned with the philological, textual, academic analysis, study and translation of Bābī-Bahā’ī primary scriptural sources along with historical issues associated therewith.

For such as might wonder, Hūrqalyā (Arabic هورقليا = h-w-r-q-l-y-a [sic.], pointing uncertain) is a seven letter Arabic transliterated loanword probably originating in an Islamic context with Shihāb al-Dīn Yaḥyā Suhrawardī (d. [executed] Aleppo 587/1191) who is viewed as the founder of the Ishrāqī or Illuminationist school of Islamic philosophy. I have a lengthy paper in press which argues that etymologically and conceptually this word (to simplify) derives (probably as orally transmitted with a supplementary adjective) from a Hebrew (הָרָקִיעַ, hā-rāqîa`), Aramaic-Syriac or Mandaic form of   רָקִיעַ rāqîa`, a  word which is often indicative of a luminous, firmament or interworld spanning or linking "heaven" and "earth". As the subject of most of the material on this website has to do with the intellectual history of religious concepts, the use of `Hurqalya Publications' was thought to be appropriate. 

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