Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This paper explores the scholarship and intellectual contribution of the second series of World Order magazine, which published from 1966 until 2008 over 38 volumes. In so doing, I provide a narrative overview of the main themes and papers in World Order, and by extension some of the topics being discussed in the worldwide Bahā’ī community. This is complemented by interviews with past World Order editors, who provided information on papers, topics and issues that generated the most interest and print runs, a listing of the number of pieces and articles by topic, and a questionnaire survey of those attending an academic Bahā’ī conference. I compare themes identified in the overview with contemporary discourses over a similar period drawing on surveys of textbook and journal contents in similar areas. In addition, I summarise available information on the most cited (from Google Scholar) and downloaded (from Bahā’ī Library online) World Order papers, and hence those contributions with the most impact using these quantitative approaches. I show that Abizadeh’s paper on ‘Ethnicity, Race, and a Possible Humanity’, which discusses how the concept of the oneness of humanity can potentially address racial problems, is the most cited paper, and Stokes’s paper on ‘The Story of Joseph in Five Religious Traditions’, a piece on comparative religion, is the most downloaded. Overall, the most cited and downloaded papers are indicative of the breadth of topics covered in World Order, with pieces on political philosophy, law, education, history, theology, and psychology. The number of articles and editorials on social issues, such as racial justice, women’s rights, and environmentalism, is one indication that the Bahā’ī community was at the forefront of thinking about social action.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date