Becoming the Vanguard and Champions of a New Civilization – A Talk by Rod Clarken

This talk titled “Becoming the Vanguard and Champions of a New Civilization” was given by Dr. Rod Clarken at the Justice Conference, 2019.

In this talk, Dr. Clarken asks, “How do we become a source of social good and lay hold of all those instrumentalities that promote the peace and well-being and happiness, the knowledge, culture and industry, the dignity, value and station, of the entire human race?”, as Abdu’l-Baha has hoped for us? The presentation addresses this question by developing a conceptual framework derived from the Baha’i Writings that provide insight into human nature, purpose and transformation, and that challenge the dominant narratives of progress, accomplishment, meaning, power and happiness that pervade contemporary societies; by instead exploring truth, love and justice as the foundational instruments for transforming the individual, community and institutions; and discuss how we can develop our spiritual virtues, powers and capacities to enable us to become the vanguard and champions of a new civilization.

Dr. Clarken was a professor and director of teacher education for over three decades and has given presentations throughout the world on topics related to developing potential. More information and his books, papers, webcasts, courses and other material are available on his website:

The Justice Conference is an annual Baha’i-inspired forum for the exploration of international law, global governance, justice and ethics. It takes place in the Netherlands and all are welcome to participate!

You can listen to the audio version of this talk here: Becoming the Vanguard and Champions of a New Civilization – Rod Clarken [Audio Version]

Find out more about the Justice Conference and register to attend here on their website:

And check out the Justice Conference Facebook page here.

About the Author

Naysan is the editor of Baha'i Blog and he has worked in various avenues of media for two decades. He’s passionate about using the arts and media to support and explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and he has produced and collaborated on popular music projects like the "DawnBreaker Collective" and the successful Ruhi-inspired sequence of "MANA" albums. His experience as a producer for CNN was invaluable while working on a number of special projects for the Baha’i World Centre, including the "Building Momentum" and "Pilgrimage: A Sacred Experience" videos. If there’s a media-related Baha’i project out there, chances are that Naysan was involved with it somehow!

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Discussion 3 Comments

  1. These are very interesting questions. It is very important that we think about these things every day. I am very concerned about humanity and pray every morning in the hope that the heavenly host and Baha’i may help. Dear Baha’i, it is unfortunately not always possible. Of course Baha’u’llah has promised us the victory – which will also be achieved; however, there is a lot to talk about on these issues. Our task is big; but I can understand your questions all too well.

  2. I was a little bit skeptical at first he could achieve his goal in the time frame he said he would. He not only did and he did it in a way that was easy to understand and I could relate to. This model has provided me with a useful tool I know I can refer to like a navigation stone or compass when ever I need to reorient myself Aroha

  3. I found this approach to the topic of meaning of life, and problem solving very helpful and after watching the video applied it to some immediate issues with greater confidence.
    Thanks so much Mr Clarken, for taking your reading and knowledge of both the Baha’i Faith and psychology and creating something people can easily carry around in their heads. PRISMS 😉 and the metaphors all appreciated. I like the sensitivity which you present the model to different audiences and adapt the terminology for their understanding whilst keeping the essence of your approach the same.

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