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New study explores the application of spiritual principles to community life

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

a circle of images of different people are surrounding a book with the text saying "hope and resilience" in big text
New study explores the application of spiritual principles such as hope and resilience to community life

INDORE, India — A new research paper jointly released by the Bahá’í Chair for Studies in Development at Devi Ahilya University in Indore, India, and the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity (ISGP) explores how communities draw on principles, such as the oneness of humankind and humanity’s interconnectedness with nature, in their efforts to contribute toward the common good.

The paper, titled Hope and Resilience: The Application of Spiritual Principles to Community Life, focuses on the creation of strong networks of social support in the management of water-related challenges within the context of urban informal settlements and is part of a series of research publications by ISGP called Occasional Papers on Insights from Practice.

This series of publications examines patterns that emerge as groups, communities, and organizations strive to apply unifying and constructive principles to their everyday lives and activities in their efforts to address the challenges they face and contribute to social progress.

“One of the things that we see today is that many people are deeply committed to spiritual convictions, and that their convictions are a powerful source of motivation for them to lead virtuous lives and to contribute to the betterment of their communities,” says Arash Fazli, Assistant Professor and Head of the Baha’i Chair.

He adds: “This idea is not sufficiently acknowledged in academic literature on development, and, therefore, many social and economic development efforts are not able to draw on these sources of motivation.”

The paper elaborates further, reading in part: “There is growing recognition among many researchers and planners that failure to account for the spiritual, cultural, and religious aspects of human life and society will impede the realization of collective wellbeing and the prosperity of humankind.”

The collaboration between the Chair and ISGP is part of each of their efforts to contribute to the discourse on development.

The Baha’i Chair was established nearly 30 years ago to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the field of development from a perspective that regards human prosperity as an outcome of both material and spiritual progress.

Founded in 1999, ISGP is a non-profit research and educational organization inspired by the Baha’i teachings. One of the purposes of ISGP is to explore, with others, the complementary roles that science and religion—as evolving systems of knowledge and practice—can play in the advancement of civilization, engaging in research on issues relevant to the life of humanity.

The paper is available on the website of ISGP.

Originally published on the Baha'i World News Service

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