A Celestial Burning: A Selective Study of the Writings of Shoghi Effendi
by J.A. McLean
Baha’i Publishing Trust of India, 2012, 606 pages
Order from bds-canada.com or bahaipublishingtrust.in.
- “This recently published work is a comprehensive study of selected writings of Shoghi Effendi Rabbani (1897-1957), the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith. The fruit of over a decade of meditation and careful research, the author has approached Shoghi Effendi’s writings from two main perspectives: The Guardian as the divine expounder, a wellspring of incisive and perspicuous religious thought, and Shoghi Effendi the eloquent writer, a vocation that was inseparable from his sacred office. This unique volume treats such themes as Shoghi Effendi’s view of history as divine drama, his effective use of rhetoric, his penetrating insights into morality and spirituality, and his understanding of the emerging world order as a modern-day apocalypse, and also the inimitable style and integral patterns that emerge in his epistolary prose. The breadth of research and the rich detail is a pleasure to peruse, and will surely absorb many readers, and help to inform not only scholars, but also those teachers, administrators, and general readers who seek a deeper appreciation of these aspects of the writings of the Guardian, and who may wish to develop them in their talks or publications
This publication won the Association for Baha’i Studies 2013 “distinguished scholarship” award in the book category. According to the Academic Director of the Association, Dr. Pierre-Yves Mocquais, the award was a unanimous decision by the judges.
Writes Arun Sonha, General Manager of the Bahai Publishing Trust of India:
“This book is a comprehensive study of selected writings of Shoghi Effendi Rabbani (1897-1957), the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith. The author has approached Shoghi Effendi’s writings from two main perspectives: the Guardian as the divine interpreter, a man of incisive religious thought; and Shoghi Effendi the eloquent writer, a vocation that was inseparable from the sacred office as Guardian of the Faith. This book covers comprehensively five core-works of Shoghi Effendi containing valuable guidance he left for the shaping up of a new world order.
“The book will serve to inform not only scholars but also all those teachers, administrators, and general readers who seek a deeper understanding of these aspects of the writings of the Guardian, and who may wish to develop them in their talks or publications.”
- Dr. Udo Schaefer, Former Jurist and Bahá’í Scholar, Heidelberg, Germany
“It [A Celestial Burning] is a magnum opus which sets the standard for all future work on Shoghi Effendi. The scope of the work alone, along with the accompanying analysis of the literature and the highly interesting set of themes, which have until now not received [scholarly] treatment, are highly impressive…A foundational analysis of his writings and his style are ground-breaking.”
- Dr. John Hatcher, Professor of English Literature and Bahá’í Scholar
“Your book [A Celestial Burning] is a wonderful insight into some of the breadth of the Guardian’s genius… Your writing is erudite, but accessible, and the organization of the study is very helpful. What a rich resource you have created for the future.”
- Dr. Todd Lawson, Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Toronto
“Warmest congratulations on this great achievement. We are all in your debt for wrestling with the angel. The Guardian’s language and style — between and connecting revelation and prose poetry, is a monument of world literature that you have helped the world recognize and read.”