I don’t want to be Tāhirih

Homosexuality in the Bahā’ī Religion in Theology and Practice

Hanna A. Bludau
Religion & Spiritualität

The relations between religion and sexuality have been understudied for a long period of time within German Study of Religion. This is remarkable for two reasons: Firstly, sex and gender are somewhat frequently discussed in almost any other field of research at present; secondly, many religions still have problems to accept homosexuality as a normal and permissible way of life. This is furthermore astonishing for the Bahā’ī Faith as it is often mentioned as a particularly tolerant and open minded religious community.

Coming from a profound historical analysis of sexual practices in 19th century Iran and their understanding from a religious point of view Hanna Langer further exemplifies the Bahā’ī Institutions’ attitude towards homosexuality and homosexuals and their standing within the Bahā’ī Community. The second part of the book focuses on three major aspects related to the experiences of homosexuals: How do homosexuals themselves interpret and understand the core writings? How do they apply this understanding to their personal lives? How do they experience community life within the Bahā’ī Faith and the Institutions’ and believers’ approach towards them? Langer’s comprehensive analysis of the current situation of homosexual Bahā’īs was originally written as a master thesis at the Interfaculty Programme for the Study of Religion at Munich University and has been supervised by Prof Horst Junginger who also contributed a preface for the publication.

Hanna A. Langer was raised in Dresden and studied Religion, Iranology and Crosscultural Communication at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.