The video is now available for the latest Conversations of the Heart, the Bahá’í Publishing Trust and Green Acre’s collaborative series exploring a wide range of topics by Bahá’í authors from race to history.
In this session, Dr. Robert Stockman presented on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s historic visit to the United States and Canada, which spanned from April to December, 1912. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá traveled from coast to coast, delivering at least 401 public talks to an audience of close to 100,000 people. He spoke in Protestant churches, synagogues, universities, settlement houses, and many other venues. His public talks sought to attract people to the principles of the Faith; His private talks to Bahá’ís sought to deepen their faith and inspire them to serve. While He avoided being too controversial (though His support for the vote for women made headlines), His firm insistence of racial integration at all His talks and His encouragement of interracial marriage had a lasting impact on the American Bahá’í community. His influence on American culture was also strongest on the African American community; He was celebrated in newspapers and monthly magazines.
Robert H. Stockman obtained his Master’s degree and doctorate in Religious Studies from Harvard University, where he specialized in history of religion in the United States. He is the author of several books, including The Bahá’í Faith in America, volumes 1 and 2, which cover Bahá’í events in the United States from 1892 to 1900 and 1901 to 1912 respectively; Thornton Chase: The First American Bahá’í; ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in America, a volume that reviews ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s 8-month journey across North America; He has lectured on Bahá’í topics across the United States and in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, and Israel, and is a frequent contributor to Bahá’í panels at the American Academy of Religion. He was an instructor of religious studies at DePaul University in Chicago 1990-2012 and currently teaches religious studies at Indiana University South Bend. He has been Director of the Wilmette Institute, the Bahá’í online educational agency, since 2000. He has served on the editorial boards of the Bahá’í Encyclopedia Project, Journal of Bahá’í Studies, and World Order magazine. He lives with his wife and two children in South Bend, Indiana.
Conversations of the Heart is an online workshop series in collaboration between the Bahá’í Publishing Trust and Green Acre.