An extract from "Resurrection and Renewal"

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Baha'i scholarship has frozen in the 1940s and 1950s, but without the quality of traditional scholars such as Abul-Fazl Gulapaygani. Asadullah Fazil Mazandarani, and 'Abd al-Hamid Ishraq-Khavari. Even Shoghi Effendi's model of text publication in English translation, with all its omissions, seems to have been abandoned in favor of an arcane view of the past divorced from any context.

One important factor contributing to this general state of affairs is the prevailing conservatism of the Baha'i administration and its controlling apparatus (including the so-called "review" process for publication of even historical research). Such relics of past insecurities, rooted in fears of "Covenant-breaking", have dried out independent initiative among Baha'is even in younger generations, discouraging critical thinking — let alone any semblance of intellectual dissent. An obsession with unity and unanimity in the face of a traditionally hostile world is understandable among Baha'is in Iran, hut not in the community outside. This is all the more regrettable among the younger generation of Baha'is who were brought up outside Iran, where they can learn, research, engage, articulate, and write free of any hindrance. (I cannot speak of the Azali Babis for lack of information.) Yet among Baha'is, a spirit of fear of crossing established boundaries prevails. Disinterest in critical scholarship and refusal to seriously engage with the history of Babi and Baha'i thought and doctrine, with its fascinating development, often diverts attention among the younger generations away from history and humanities altogether. Instead, a hopelessly naive narrative and tired catechism are employed to discourage diversity and encourage indoctrination.

From "Resurrection and Renewal", by Abbas Amanat, p. xxi of the preface.