A Vision of Society
The vision of society expressed in the Bahá’í writings centres on the oneness of the human family, which calls on us to eliminate all forms of prejudice – whether based on race, religion, or gender – from our relationships.
Society can be compared to the human body, which is comprised of different organs that promote the health of the body as a whole through cooperative and reciprocal relationships. The progress of society depends on balanced relationships between the individual, the community, and institutions, in which each has its own responsibilities and prerogatives in furthering social progress. The Bahá’í teachings recognize that social change includes both individual transformation and the creation of just social, economic and political institutions.
The Bahá’í teachings describe social transformation as a process that brings the spiritual and material requirements of life into dynamic coherence. True prosperity is advanced when we draw upon the knowledge of both science and religion to promote human welfare. Science offers insight into the material world and safeguards individuals from superstition, and religion helps to release the powers of the spirit and build the bonds of community. The pursuit of knowledge, and its application to the needs of the community, is fundamental to the advancement of society.
“We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved. Man is organic with the world. His inner life moulds the environment and is itself also deeply affected by it. The one acts upon the other and every abiding change in the life of man is the result of these mutual reactions.”
– Shoghi Effendi