Aflame with Devotion

The Hannen and Knobloch Families and the Early Days of the Baha'i Faith
  • Author: Judy Hannen Moe
  • Product Code:AWD
  • ISBN: 978-0-87743-395-8
  • Publisher: Baha'i Publishing
  • Pages: 377
  • Availability:  In stock
  • Weight: 19 oz
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Soft Cover

In the early part of the twentieth century, as millennial expectations swept through a fast-changing world, there were many in the United States who sought spiritual awakening. On any given night in the country’s most vibrant cities, rooms were filled to capacity with spiritual seekers gathered to listen to gurus, teachers, and charlatans holding court on biblical prophecy, the End Times, and a myriad other religious subjects. Among the inquisitive souls attending such meetings in Washington D.C. was the young Pauline Hannen, the first in her family to investigate what was at the time a little-known religion of the East called the Bahá’í Faith. Pauline was enthralled by what she heard, and she quickly immersed herself in study of the new Faith and shared all that she learned with her sisters, Fanny and Alma Knobloch, and her mother Amalie. Her husband, Joseph Hannen, soon embraced the Faith as well, and the Hannens and Knoblochs became active members of the small but growing American Bahá’í community.

Their embrace of the Cause came at significant personal sacrifice as it meant breaking with the social mores and status quo of Washington society as they strove to put the Faith’s social teachings into practice. They were privileged, however, to visit and correspond with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá personally and were intimately involved in serving Him throughout His visit to North America. Clearly aware of the significance of the times in which they lived, the families documented their correspondence and activities meticulously and left extensive written records of their lives.

Author Judy Hannen Moe, the great-granddaughter of Joseph and Pauline Hannen, has combed through several archival collections in order to piece together the story of these inspiring souls as well as those of others in their orbit. The resulting book is a treasure trove of highlights from the early days of the Faith in America, and an intimate glimpse of the lives of a handful of brilliant and devoted servants of the Cause.

Average rating 10 out of 10 ( based on 2 reviews )

A must-read book about the early days of the Faith in the US

Review by Sheryl on 4/16/2023

I had heard the names Hannen and Knobloch but did not realize the importance of the roles they played in the early days of the Faith in the US and Europe alongside so many other well-known early Baha'is, in particular Louis Gregory. This excellent book provides personal descriptions of some of the many events they played a part in. The book is very compelling as it recounts the many joys, tests, struggles, and spiritual growth they experienced both as individuals and a family.

Love, Faith...and Learnings...for us, now

Review by Caroline on 11/2/2019

Author Judy Hannen Moe has skillfully - and painstakingly - pieced together many puzzle pieces to tell the story of her ancestors, the Hannen and Knobloch families. The end result is a rich tapestry depicting the early days of of the Baha’i faith in America, told through the lives of these ardent believers. The author’s tone is that of a friend sharing a story, perhaps over a cup of tea. But this narrative then seems to disappear as the letters from her ancestors unfold, and you are WITH Pauline and Joseph Hannen, and Fanny and Alma Knobloch, FEELING their intense devotion to their Beloved, and LEARNING with them! Their struggles are our current struggles. The material on race amity in the Baha'i community is priceless and applicable today. So is Pauline sharing her knowledge as the “Mother of Children’s Classes”. Learnings from these early believers have inspired me in my own neighborhood how to serve the current Five-Year-Plan. The Hannen's and Knobloch's feel like family now.

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