Robert H. Stockman

I have had a passion for researching and teaching about the Bahá’í Faith for more than half of my life. My fascination with American Bahá’í history and with the first American Bahá’í, Thornton Chase, caused me, in 1980, to switch my academic field from planetary science to history of religion in the United States. As I was finishing my doctorate in that field at Harvard University in 1990, I drew up plans to create a Bahá’í Studies institute that would offer courses, encourage research, and publish. Instead, I was hired by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States to start a research office at our national Bahá’í headquarters in Wilmette, Illinois. Some of the responsibilities of the research office led to the creation of the Wilmette Institute, which ​focuses on most of the tasks of the institute I originally conceived. Now I am Director of the Corinne True Center for Bahá’í History. Meanwhile, I have also remained involved in academia, teaching religious studies part time at Indiana University South Bend, just a mile from home and serving as an “Affiliated Faculty” to the Ansari Institute for the Global Engagement with Religion at Notre Dame University. I have also published seven books on aspects of the Bahá’í Faith.

Listen to Robert’s interview on ‘A Bahá’í Perspective’ podcast