Alain Locke’s “Moral Imperatives for World Order” Revisited
From all sides - artwork by Michele Jubilee
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Buck, C. “Alain Locke’s ‘Moral Imperatives for World Order’ Revisited”. The Journal of Bahá’í Studies, vol. 29, no. 1-2, Mar. 2019, pp. 37-64, doi:10.31581/jbs-29.1-2.5(2019).


History offers a review of past events in a quest for contemporary relevance, where hindsight can serve as a source of insight into present-day social paradoxes and dilemmas. The present essay revisits three public speeches by distinguished Bahá’í philosopher, Alain Locke, presented at the Institute of International Relations’ Tenth Annual Session in 1944, and argues that he articulated a three-part message: (1) racism, although an American problem, is not purely a domestic issue; (2) racism has bilateral and multilateral consequences (especially economic) in the international context; and (3) three “moral imperatives”—of promoting the unity of races, religions, and nations, both locally and globally—are primary objectives in the quest for world peace.
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Copyright © 2019 Christopher Buck