Brendan McNamara, “The Reception of ‘Abdu’l-Baha in Britain” June 23

2 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. in Britain)

The Reception of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Britain : East Comes West looks at the travels of ‘Abdul-Bahá in Britain from the perspective of some of the significant figures who received Him and facilitated His public programme. The book explores a contemporary vibrant discourse around religions that welcomed ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s participation, along with other notable religious figures from the ‘east’. The argument is made that there are discrete aspects to the Masters reception in Britain–a reception unique in its range of engagements, publicity and, arguably, influence–which make this study especially worthwhile.  How these interactions played out against the prevailing religious and cultural milieu is examined, as are aspects of why and how these visits slipped from public memory. The book is one of very few studies of the Masters extraordinary journeys published by an academic publisher (Brill).

Brendan McNamara holds a PhD in the Study of Religions from University College Cork in Ireland. He lectures at the University with involvement in various courses on religions and global diversity. These courses include lectures on the Bahá’í Faith and Human Rights, and Bahá’í Temples and Holy Places. He has a long standing interest in Bahá’í history and has previously published a collection titled Connections; Essays and Notes on Early Links Between the Bahá’í Faith and Ireland. The website associated with the volume ( contains extra material, particularly relating to Dr Cormick, the physician who attended to the Báb. 

His other publications include journal articles and a book chapter relating to the Woking Mosque, the Rev R.J. Campbell, Dr William Cormick and Lady Mary Shiel – all of which relate in some way to the Bahá’í history. Most recently he has co-edited a collection titled The Study of Religions in Ireland :
Past, Present and Future
 published by Bloomsbury (2022).


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