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Letter from the ABS Executive Committee

Subject: Important Changes – Participation in the Association for Bahá’í Studies

17 January 2017

Dear friend,

The Executive Committee of the Association for Bahá’í Studies has been considering ways to make its conferences, seminars, publications, working groups, webinars, and related initiatives accessible to as many people as possible. To this end, we wish to share with you a number of new arrangements that are being put in place:

  1. Starting with the next issue, The Journal of Bahá’í Studies will move to an online publication model. All issues will be freely and immediately available on the ABS website, For those wishing to receive a print copy of the Journal, subscriptions will be made available at a cost determined by print-on-demand and shipping fees. If you wish to subscribe to a print copy of the Journal, currently published three times per year, please return by mail the enclosed subscription form or purchase it online.

  2. The concept of “membership” in the Association has been set aside. Membership fees, both one- and three-year, have been discontinued as of January 1, 2017.

  3. All annual conference attendees will pay the same registration fee, which for 2017 will be the same as last year’s “non-member” registration fee. Those who have paid a three-year membership fee will receive a conference registration discount for the remainder of their fee period; friends who paid a life membership fee will receive this discount indefinitely. Discounts for early registration, students, seniors, unwaged, and families will be continued.

  4. ABS will continue to maintain a database of the names and contact information for all who participate in ABS initiatives, in order to provide all participants with the ABS Bulletin and other information regarding ABS activities via email.

Making every issue of the Journal immediately available online to all will greatly increase the accessibility of Journal articles and invite wider participation in scholarly exchange. For example, it will enable the articles to be immediately indexed and available through search engines such as Google Scholar. Moreover, saving the cost of printing and mailing will free up funds to support new initiatives. By setting aside the concept of membership, we are inviting broad participation in the increasingly varied spaces and initiatives of the Association, without distinction regarding membership status.

Your support for the Association to date, not only financially but through active engagement in its programs, has laid a firm foundation for the continuing evolution of ABS as it strives to realize the vision described in the 24 July 2013 guidance of the Universal House of Justice. We look forward to your continued participation in any and all ABS endeavors, such as the annual conference, seminars, publications, working groups, and webinars. The Association is eager to support all those who “seek to excel in scholarly activity” and “strive to reflect on the implications that the truths found in the Revelation may hold” for their academic and professional fields.

With warm regards,

Association for Bahá’í Studies Executive Committee
Julia Berger, Secretary