Previous research outlines the processes of human development with significant detail, including biological, cognitive, and spiritual domains. In contemporary developmental discourse, however, Bahá’í perspectives on spiritual development are virtually nonexistent. In the Seven Valleys, Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith, offers many insights regarding the dynamics of spiritual development. Through a focused study of Bahá’u’lláh’s Seven Valleys, this paper (1) creates a dialogue between classical and contemporary theories of developmental psychology and Bahá’í philosophical perspectives, (2) explores the evolution of the “self,” and (3) examines the emergence of spiritual striving in human phylogeny and ontogeny. Overall, it is argued that developmental studies may benefit from a deeper understanding of spiritual development as a core domain of human life.
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Copyright © 2011 Andrew R. Hatala