Robert Stockman

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Robert Stockman (born October 6, 1953) is a scholar specializing in Bahá'í studies who has been called "the foremost historian of the Bahá’í Faith in America."[1] He received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University (B.A., 1975) and a doctorate in religious studies from Harvard University (Th.D., 1990).[2]


Robert Stockman was raised in Granby, Connecticut by Harold Herman and Margery (Fothergill) Stockman, who worked as apple farmers. He initially majored in geology at Wesleyan University and later received a master's degree in planetary science from Brown University, with a particular interest in the geology of Mars. He was introduced to the Bahá'í Faith while an undergraduate student and converted at the age of twenty, on October 16, 1973.[3] He has been an active Bahá'í since his conversion, and in 1979 participated in mass teachings in rural central Florida.[1]

During his studies for his master's degree in geology, he developed an interest in the history of the Bahá'í community in Rhode Island which led to his researching the biography of Thornton Chase. This endeavor led to the publication of Baha'i Faith in America: Origins 1892–1900[4] followed by Baha'i Faith in America, The: Early Expansion, 1900–1912 Volume 2[5] before the ultimate publishing of Thornton Chase: First American Baha'i.[6] Starting in 1989, he has worked for the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, based in Wilmette, Illinois, in various capacities. He is married to Mana Derakhshani.


Subsequent to earning his doctorate from Harvard Divinity School, Stockman began teaching at the DePaul University in Chicago prior to proceeding to his current position as a lecturer at Indiana University South Bend, where he teaches religious studies. He serves as director of the Wilmette Institute.[7] He has served on the boards of the Bahá'í Encyclopedia project, the Association for Bahá'í Studies, and World Order magazine. He has lectured on Bahá'í topics across the world and is a frequent contributor to Bahá'í panels at the American Academy of Religion.


  • Review of “In Service to the Common Good: The American Bahá'í Community’s Commitment to Social Change,” in World Order, vol. 37, no. 3 (2006), 45-48.
  • “The Baha'i Faith and Globalization, 1900–1912,” in a peer-reviewed volume on globalization and the Bahá'í Faith (Aarhus, Den.: Aarhus University Press, 2005).
  • “The Bahá'í Faith,” in the Worldmark Encyclopedia.
  • Review of Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee, “Life and Death of Planet Earth,” in World Order, vol. 34, no. 3 (Spring 2003), 42-47.
  • “The Bahá'í Faith and Interfaith Relations: A Brief History,” in World Order, vol. 33, no. 4 (Summer 2002), 19-33.
  • “Bahá'í Faith,” in Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, ed. J. Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2002), 102-114
  • “True, Corinne Knight,” in Women Building Chicago, 1790–1990, ed. Rima Lunin Schultz and Adele Hast (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2001), 891-93.
  • “Bahá'í faith,” in Encyclopedia of American Religious History, ed. Edward L. Queen II, Stephen R. Prothero, and Gardiner H. Shattuck Jr. (New York, NY: Facts on File, 2001), 53-55.
  • “The Unity Principle: Ideas of Social Concord and Discord in the Bahá'í Faith,” in Joseph Gittler, ed., Research in Human Social Conflict, Volume 2 (Westview, CT: JAI Press, 2000), pp. 1–19.
  • Response to Juan R. I Cole, “Race, Immorality, and Money in the American Bahá'í Community: Impeaching the Los Angeles Spiritual Assembly,” Religion (2000) 30, 133-39.
  • “Bahá'í Faith,” in James R. Lewis, The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998), 64-71.
  • “Revelation, Interpretation, and Elucidation in the Bahá'í Writings” in Moojan Momen, ed., Scripture and Revelation (Oxford: George Ronald, 1998).
  • The Bahá'í Faith section of The Pluralism Project (CD Rom, Columbia Univ. Press, 1997).
  • “The Bahá'í Faith in England and Germany, 1900–1913” in World Order magazine, vol. 27, no. 3, (Spring 1996), 31-42.
  • “The Vision of the Bahá'í Faith,” in Martin Forward, Ultimate Visions: Reflections on the Religions We Choose (Oxford: One World, 1995), 266-74.
  • “The Bahá'í Faith in the 1990s,” article in Dr. Timothy Miller, ed., America's Alternative Religions (Albany: State Univ. of New York Press, 1995)
  • “The Bahá'í Faith: A Portrait,” in Joel Beversluis, ed., A Sourcebook for the Earth's Community of Religions, 2d ed. (Grand Rapids. MI: CoNexus Press, 1995).
  • Paul Johnson's ‘Theosophical Influence in Bahá'í History: Some Comments’” in Theosophical History, vol. 5, no. 4 (October 1994): 137-43.
  • “The Bahá'í Faith in America: One Hundred Years,” in World Order, vol. 25, no. 3 (Spring 1994): 9-23.
  • “Women in the American Bahá'í Community, 1900–1912,” in World Order, vol. 25, no. 2 (Winter 1993–94): 17-34.
  • “Jesus Christ in the Bahá'í Writings,” in The Bahá'í Studies Review, vol. 2, no. 1 (1992): 33-41.
  • Review of John S. Hatcher's The Purpose of Physical Reality, in Encyclopedie Universelle Philosophique (Presses Universitaires de France, 1991).
  • Review of Marzieh Gail's Summon Up Remembrance, in Iranian Studies, 22.4 (1989): 118-20.
  • Review of R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram's Music, Devotions, and Mashriqu'l-Adhkár, in The Journal of Bahá'í Studies, vol. 1, no. 2 (1988–89): 71-78.
  • “Passing of the First American Bahá'í,” in Bahá'í News, no. 679 (Oct. 1987): 4-9.
  • “The Bahá'í Faith: Beginnings in North America,” World Order magazine, vol. 18, no. 4 (Summer 1984): 7-27.


  • Stockman, Robert (1985). Origins, 1892–1900. The Baha'i Faith in America. 1. Wilmette, Ill.: Baha'i Publishing Trust of the United States. ISBN 978-0-87743-199-2.


  1. ^ a b Silk, Mark (June 26, 2014). "Maybe there ARE more Baha'is than Jews in South Carolina!". Religion News Service. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  2. ^ Resume. Retrieved December 26, 2016
  3. ^ Warren Odess-Gillett (July 27, 2013). "A Bahá'í Perspective Interview with Robert Stockman". A Bahá'í Perspective (Podcast). Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  4. ^ Stockman, R. (1985). Baha'i Faith in America: Origins 1892–1900. Wilmette, Ill.: Baha'i Publishing Trust of the United States. ISBN 978-0-87743-199-2.
  5. ^ Stockman, R. Baha'i Faith in America, The: Early Expansion, 1900–1912 Volume 2. Wilmette, Ill.: George Ronald. ISBN 978-0-87743-282-1. Archived from the original on 2013-01-17.
  6. ^ Stockman, R. (2001). Thornton Chase: First American Baha'i. Wilmette, Ill.: Baha'i Publishing Trust of the United States. ISBN 978-0-87743-282-1.
  7. ^ Wilmette Institute: Robert Stockman. Retrieved December 26, 2016