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Philosopher, Mystic, Social Reformer, Promulgator of Peace: 'Abdu'l-Bahá (1844–1921) in Biography and Three Short Stories

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Aged 9, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá accompanied his father through the rugged mountains of Persia in bitter winter, a prisoner and exile. Freed in old age, he travelled to the West, speaking at universities, churches, synagogues and homeless shelters. His words had a profound effect. “About the greatness of this man and his power no one who met him could entertain a doubt” (Professor E.G. Browne, Cambridge, 1890).

He spoke at Howard University, one of the first to serve the African-American community; at Oxford University, where his portrait hangs in Manchester College; and at the invitation of the President of Stanford University, to an audience of over two thousand. He was an inspiration in the works of Khalil Gibran and poet Yone Noguchi. Galvanising the cause of race-unity and dedicating his life to uplifting the poor, he was a visionary of world peace. Philosophers, scientists, inventors, artists, writers, and poets came to see him, as did people from all walks of life, from every culture and background, from every religion or none.

The speaker, Sean Hinton, is joined by story tellers Tebogo Khutsoane, Sarah Percival and Ismael Velasco.

Sean Hinton trained as a musician at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, before studying ethnomusicology at Cambridge University. He has served as Mongolia’s first honorary Consul-General in Australia, and worked extensively in China and Mongolia. He is CEO of the Soros Economic Development Fund.

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This talk is part of the Cambridge University Bahá'í Society series.

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