Open Circle Publishing

Bahá´í related Books

Book by Sen McGlinn

2005: Church and State
A postmodern political theology

by Sen McGlinn

This is a political theology for the Bahá´í Faith, but it is also a philosophy for living in our globalising, postmodern society. The functional differentiation of society means that government, religion, commerce, art, education and science are increasingly independent, have different social functions, relate differently to one another, and that their lived meanings for us are different. Functional differentiation also drives the pluralism and relativism, global scope and individualisation that characterise postmodern society.
In a society in which religious ritual is the mirror of individual distinctiveness, not of collective identity, in which permanent pluralism means n that no one religion can provide common norms and values, and no ideology should try, and in which the norms of one sphere of life are not transferred to other spheres, religion must find a new understanding of itself, and a new job description for its role in society. The 20th century has taught us that economic affairs cannot be governed by political ideologies, that science must be free of doctrine and political agendas, that church and state must be separated. But it has not provided us with a new world view that explains the postmodern world that we actually experience.
This book draws on the Bahai scriptures, and the Bible and Quran, to show that the differentiation and globalisation of postmodern society are signs that the Kingdom of God is growing in the world.

View The Foreword and Introduction as a PDF on this website

Available from and (search on McGlinn + Postmodern)

Article reprint by Sen McGlinn

1999: (Article Reprint from the Journal of Church and State, U.S.A.)

A Theology of the State from the Bahá´í Teachings 

by Sen McGlinn

This article seeks to provide a religious rationale for embracing the multi-centred post-modern society, and for rejecting monist social models. In particular it provides a theological underpinning for the separation of church and state. Its thesis is that church and state are distinct in the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of God is growing on earth where church and state are distinct, but closely related. The first part explains the Bahá´í teachings regarding civil government and its relationship to institutional religion, on the basis of selections from the Bahá´íscriptures. It concludes with some elements of a Bahá´í political theology. The second part suggests a metaphysical model that justifies the organic model of society, in which the religious and political order are properly distinct organs with differing logics, and no one organ can control the whole or claim a unique relationship to the divine. The argument in this section is presented in a neoplatonic language common to theologies of the Western monotheistic faiths, in the hope that this approach may be of use for theologians of other Faiths.

The booklet (15 x 20 cm) of 26 pages, softcover, costs 6 Euros plus postage.

Book edited by Sen McGlinn

1989: (1994, 2nd edition)

Soundings: Essays in Bahá´í Theology

Edited by Sen McGlinn


Writing history in a secular age
by Karen Austin

Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Christianity, Islam, & the Bahá´í Faith
by Bronwyn Elsmore

Introduction fo the Bible in modern research
by Sen McGlinn

Anti-positivism, teaching and the Bahá´í Faith
by Alison Marshall

Religious belief and the mutability of scientific theory
by William Michael

Is the Bahá´í Faith a world religion?
by Moojan Momen

The (1994) book (15 x 20 cm) of 64 pages, softcover, (first published in 1989, second edition, 1994) costs 10 Euros plus postage costs. Five illustrations by Sonja van Kerkhoff.