The Baha'i Faith is one of the fastest growing, but least studied, of the world's religions. Adherents view themselves as united by a universal belief that transcends national boundaries. Michael McMullen examines how the Baha'i develop and maintain this global identity. Taking the Baha'i community in Atlanta, Georgia, as a case in point, his book is the first to comprehensively examine the tenets of this little-understood faith.McMullen notes that, to the Baha'i, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed are all divinely sent teachers of `the Truth', whose messages conform to the needs of their individual cultures and historical periods. But religion-which draws from the teaching of Baha'u'llah, a nineteenth-century Persian-encourages its members to think of themselves as global citizens. It also seeks to establish unity among its members through adherence to a Baha'i worldview.
By examining the Atlanta Baha'i community, McMullen shows how this global identity is interpreted locally. He discusses such topics as: the organizational structure and authority relations in the Baha'i ""Administrative Order"; Baha'i evangelicalism; and the social boundaries between Baha'is and the wider culture.