The Law of Love Enshrined: Selected Essays by John Hatcher and William Hatcher

As I note in the preface to this work, the essays contained in this compilation of discussions by my brother William S Hatcher and myself are focused on some of our insights into the purpose, function, and composition of what Bahá’u’lláh designates as His Most Holy Book, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the blueprint for a planetary community that will suffice for the Bahá’í era of human development, as well as the foundational laws, ordinances, and exhortations for that same social order. For while the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is often thought of as a  compendium of the laws, ordinances, and exhortations of Bahá’u’lláh for this era, this work also contains the essential framework for an administrative order—now firmly established—that, according to Shoghi Effendi, is the “sole framework” for “Bahá’í Commonwealth of the future” (The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh 152): 

The inspiration for these essays is Bahá’u’lláh’s Most Holy Book, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, which functions as the lynch pin between the two aspects of reality. By establishing the blueprint for the Bahá’í Commonwealth—what Shoghi Effendi says should be regarded ‘as far as this planetary life is concerned, as the furthermost limits in the organization of human society’ —the Kitáb-i-Aqdas represents the translation of eternal justice into the fabric of human society, a perfect enshrinement of the law of love (p. xv). 

The book begins with two essays on what would be my brother’s several versions of his scientific proof of the existence of God. It then continues with two of my own essays—one discussing  “The Most Great Infallibility” and a second proposing that the Kitáb-i-Aqdas unseals the “choice wine” that is the Kitáb-i-Íqán by explaining how the laws put into form and action the concepts conveyed in Bahá’u’lláh’s explication of the doctrines and proofs that are the bulwark for the framework of Bahá’í theological thought. 

The remaining essays deal with a miscellany of topics related to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas: gender distinction, penology, the principle of causality as it relates to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, and the overarching concept of spirituality which the Kitáb-i-Aqdas enshrines in individual and collective action. But the abiding theme of the work is mostly implicit—that the guidance contained in Bahá’u’lláh’s Most Holy Book is, when understood in the context of the Divine Plan of God for planet Earth, as well as for the entirety of His creation, the culmination of a strategically designed program that enshrines God’s love of humankind and His methodology for expressing that love in divine guidance. 

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