The first Irfan Colloquium, Newcastle upon Tyne in Dec. 3rd-5th 1993.
The first Irfan Colloquium held in Newcastle upon Tyne over the weekend December 3rd-5th 1993 was attended at various points in time by between ten and twenty-five scholars and attendees. The picture on this website includes the following persons (Top left to right) : John Coates (Newcastle); Robert Parry (UK-Poland); Kathleen Coates (Newcastle); Moojan Momen (UK); Kamran Eqbal (Germany); Iraj Ayman (USA); Ian Holland (UK); Seena Fazel (UK); ... Fariba Hedayati (UK); Robert Stockmsn (USA). (Second row, left to right): Stephen Lambden (UK); Barbara Lawson (Canada); Todd Lawson (Canada); Gillian Bell (UK); Wendi Momen (UK). Third row: left Sen McGlinn (Holland) and Khazeh Fananapazir (UK).
Several of the papers presented at this first Irfan Colloquium were published in the volume (see image above) :
- Scripture and Revelation : Papers Presented at the First Irfan Colloquium, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, December 1993, and the Second Irfan Colloquium, Wilmette, Illinois, USA, March 1994
Another volume of papers appeared under the title :
The Bahha'i faith and the World's Religions, papers presented at the Irfan Colloquia, ed. Moojan Momen, Oxford: George Ronald, 2003, ISBN 0-85398-465-4, 247 pp.
Review Stephen Lambden in Iranian Studies, Vol. 40, No. 4, Sep., 2007 pp. 550-552.
This 247 page book from the U.K.-European Baha'i Publisher "George Ronald" falls within its "Baha'i Studies Scries" and selectively prints a number of papers for the most part delivered during 1997-99 at various U.K. and North American Baha'i studies seminar events, known as "Irfan Colloquia." These semi-academic scholarly gatherings began in the U.K. with this name in the mid-1990s and came to be supported by funding from the U.S.-based "Haj Mehdi Arjmand Memorial Fund."
The volume under review contains eleven somewhat uneven papers, a few of the more useful of which will be commented upon here. First, is a useful summary of basic Baha'i theology in comparative mode by Moojan Momen entitled "The God of Baha'u'llah." It sums up major aspects of Baha'i theology and theophanology (the doctrine of the mazhar-i ilahi or "Manifestation of God") without getting too bogged down in technical terminology and highlighting an interesting integrative theology of religious unity implied in the Baha'i scriptural writings. In his apophatic transcendence, God is beyond direct human interaction
such that varieties of theistic, monistic, and non-theistic approaches to the Transcendent can all find some legitimacy within an inclusive Babl-Baha'I theology of "oneness." ...