Peter Smith

Publications, Lectures and Other Stuff

Peter Smith: Resume, Teaching & Publications

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Peter Smith
i. A Short Resume.
ii. Taught Courses.
iii. Publications up to 2012.
iv. My Three Top Objectives for International Colleges in Southeast Asia.


I. A Short Resume:
Dr. Peter Smith graduated from the University of Bristol in England with a degree in Education and Geography in 1973, and after working as a school teacher for some years completed a the Sociology of Religion at the University of Lancaster in 1983. He has been teaching at Mahidol University since 1985, when he first came to Thailand from the UK, working initially as a Lecturer in Religious Studies in the Department of Humanities of the Social Science Faculty.

Also in 1985, he was appointed as a member of the original planning committee which set up the International Students’ Degree Program (the precursor of Mahidol University International College [MUIC]). ISDP opened in 1986 under the Directorship of Prof. Dr Serene Pibooniyom, and Dr Smith has been teaching in ISDP/MUIC since the College’s inception. He also wrote and developed the initial course catalogue for the whole College.

In 1998, as part of MUIC’s expansion, he was appointed as Divisional Chairman and Program Director of the MUIC Social Science Programs, which post he retained until his informal retirement in September 2013. During this time he designed and implemented a new Social Science Major, with concentrations in Southeast Asian Studies, International Studies and Modern World History. He also developed the Social Science Minor and Certificate Programs, notably those in Psychology, World History, International Studies and Southeast Asian Studies, and wrote the successive editions of the Social Science Catalogue.

In 1999, he was appointed as Deputy-Director for Academic Affairs in MUIC, remaining in that post until early 2003. During that time, in collaboration with the responsible program directors, he coordinated all academic programs in the College, including curriculum development and the development of new majors, and worked to increase planning effectiveness, maintain and enhance academic standards and increase the amount of effective communication and consultation between administration, faculty, and students. He also produced a teaching guide for MUIC instructors and an introduction to MUIC’s program structure and curriculum.

Before the establishment of the Social Science major, Dr Smith taught the introductory General Education courses in General Psychology, Sociology, Physical Anthropology, and World History. With the establishment of the Major, he developed and taught new courses in Social Theory (Paradigms in the Social Sciences I); Major Social Institutions; Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing; History of Psychology; and three overview course on World History (for c.1450-c.1763; c.1763-1914; and 1914-1945).

Up to now, Dr Smith has published five books – two of them with the highly prestigious Cambridge University Press in England, as well as editing another two books and publishing a significant number of articles, chapters and encyclopaedia articles. One of his books was also translated into Hungarian and another is presently being translated into Portuguese. He serves on the editorial boards of two academic journals.

In recent years, he has been active in using the internet for educational purposes, and has produced over one hundred educational videos for You-tube and developed several academic Facebook groups and pages. He also has his own blog-site, which is largely focussed on academic material.

In 1993, he was awarded Commander of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand, Third Class.

Dr. Smith finds that one of the most enjoyable things about teaching at MUIC is the enthusiasm and good heartedness of the students. He is full of praise for those students who join MUIC and work hard to meet the challenge of studying for a university degree in what for most of them is a foreign language. They are a credit to themselves and to their families.

He is also very appreciative of the kind support and encouragement of his academic colleagues and support staff at MUIC over the years, in particular the members of the Social Science Division with their traditions of straight speaking and humour.
He has a strong belief in the ideal of excellence in education, the value of hard and demanding courses, and the concept of liberal arts programs with their emphasis on providing a broad philosophical introduction to students and developing the critical thinking skills which will enable graduates to better evaluate the relevance of their particular skills to the wider world and its needs.


II. Peter Smith: Taught Courses.
A. Courses I presently teach at MUIC:
1. Paradigms in the Social Science I (A History of Social and Political Thought up to the late 19th Century).
2. History and Systems of Psychology. [NB. Lecture summaries of many lectures available on You-tube (below)].
3. World History C, c.1900-1945.

B. Upper-level courses I have previously taught at MUIC:
1. Social Institutions.
2. Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing.
3. World History A, c.1450-c.1763.
4. World History B, c.1763-1914.

C. Introductory courses I have previously taught at MUIC:
1. Introduction to Psychology.
2. Introduction to Sociology.
3. Introduction to Physical Anthropology.

D. Online course I have co-taught at the Wilmette Institute:
1. Understanding Baha’i History.

E. Introductory courses I taught for the Religious Studies program at Mahidol University (1985-88):
1. Sociology of Religion.
2. Primitive Religion (i.e. Anthropology of Religion).
3. Religion in the Modern World.
4. The New Religions.

There are individual supporting videos for several of these courses (see my You-tube site for details), but so far only the History of Psychology course has a substantial number.
You-tube site:

History of Psychology videos:


III. Peter Smith: Publications up to 2012.
NB. All accents on Hungarian and transliterated Persian and Arabic omitted.

Ph. D. Dissertation
1982 A Sociological Study of the Babi and Baha’i Religions. University of Lancaster, Department of Sociology.

1986 (ed.) In Iran: Studies in Babi and Baha’i History, Vol. 3. Los Angeles: Kalimat Press.
1987 The Babi and Baha’i Religions: From Messianic Shi`ism to a World Religion. Cambridge University Press. (Reissued, 2008).
1988 The Baha’i Religion: A Short Introduction to its History and Teachings. Oxford: George Ronald.
1989 Rovid Bevezetes a Baha’i Vallas Tortentebe es Tanitasaiba. A Hungarian translation of my The Baha’i Religion: A Short Introduction to Its History and Teachings, with a preface by Ervin Lazlo from the Club of Rome.
1996 A Short History of the Baha’i Faith. Oxford: Oneworld. (Second edition (1999) retitled: The Baha’i Faith: A Short History).
1999 A Concise Encyclopedia of the Baha’i Faith. Oxford: Oneworld. (Second edition, 2002).
2004 (ed.) Baha’is in the West: Studies in the Babi and Baha’i Religions, Vol. 14. Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 2004.
2008 An Introduction to the Baha’i Faith. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

1978 ‘Motif research: Peter Berger and the Baha’i Faith’. Religion 8: 210-34.
1979 ‘Baha’i Studies, University of Lancaster, 7-8 April 1979’. Bulletin of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 6/2, pp. 119-23.
‘Doctoral and Masters theses on Baha’i subjects (1923-77)’. Bulletin of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 6/2, pp. 129-30.
1981 [1] Review of H. M. Balyuzi, Baha’u’llah: The King of Glory. In International Journal of Middle East Studies, 13: 369 70.
[2] Review of Mangol Bayat, Mysticism and Dissent: Socioreligious Thought in Qajar Iran. In The Bulletin of the British Society for Middle East Studies (BRISMES).
1982 [1] ‘Millenarianism in the Babi and Baha’i religions’. In Millennialism and Charisma, ed. Roy Wallis, pp. 231-83. Belfast: The Queen’s University.
[2] ‘The American Baha’i community, 1894-1917: A preliminary survey’. In Studies in Babi and Baha’i History, Vol. 1, ed. Moojan Momen, pp.85-223. Los Angeles: Kalimat Press.
[3] ‘Additional doctoral and Masters’ theses relating to Babi and Baha’i subjects’.Bulletin of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 9/1, pp. 89-90.
1984 [1] ‘A note on Babi and Baha’i numbers in Iran’. Iranian Studies 17: 295-301.
[2] ‘Reality magazine: Editorship and ownership of an American Baha’i periodical’. InFrom Iran East and West: Studies in Babi and Baha’i History, Vol.2, ed. Juan Cole and Moojan Momen, pp.135-55. Los Angeles: Kalimat Press.
1986 [1] ‘Anglo-American religion and hegemonic change in the world system, c. 1870-1980’. British Journal of Sociology 37: 88-105.
[2] (With Moojan Momen) ‘The Babi Movement: A resource mobilization perspective’. In In Iran: Studies in Babi and Baha’i History, Vol. 3, ed. P. Smith, pp. 33-92. Los Angeles: Kalimat Press.
1987 [1] ‘Babism’ and ‘The Baha’i Faith’. In The Encyclopedia of World Faiths, ed. Peter Bishop and Michael Darton, pp. 173 76, 185, London, Macdonald.
[2] Review of Daniel E. Foss and Ralph Larkin, Beyond Revolution: A New Theory of Social Movements. In British Journal of Sociology, 38: 483.
1988 ‘Bahai Faith, iv. The Bahai communities’. In Encyclopaedia Iranica, loc., cit.
1989 [1] (with Moojan Momen) ‘The Baha’i Faith, 1957 1988: A survey of contemporary developments’. Religion, 19: 63 91.
[2] Review of Sami Zubaida, Islam, the People and the State. Essays on Political Ideas and Movements in the Middle East. In Sociology.
1997 (i) ‘Abdu’l Baha’, (ii) ‘Azali Babis’, (iii) ‘Babis’, (iv) ‘Baha’i Faith’, (v) ‘Baha’u’llah’, (vi) ‘Shoghi Effendi Rabbani’, and (vii) ‘Universal House of Justice’. In The Oxford Companion to Religions of the World, ed. John Bowker and J.F. Coakley. Oxford University Press, loc.cit.
2004 ‘The Baha’i Faith in the West: A Survey’. In Peter Smith (ed.), Baha’is in the West: Studies in the Babi and Baha’i Religions, Vol. 14, pp.3-60. Los Angeles: Kalimat Press.
2005 [1] ‘Shoghi Effendi’s letters to the Baha’is of India and Burma during the 1920s’.Baha’i Studies Review 13: 15-40.
[2] Review of Robert Gleave (ed.) Religion and Society in Qajar Iran. In Baha’i Studies Review 13: 130-135.
2006 (With Moojan Momen) ‘Babi martyrs’. Encyclopaedia Iranica.
2007 [1] ‘The global distribution of Baha’is in the 1920s’. Baha’i Studies Review, vol. 14, pp. 107-20.
[2] Review of William Garlington. The Baha’i Faith in America (Praeger, 2005). InBaha’i Studies Review, vol. 14, pp. 145-49.
2009 [1] ‘The global distribution of Baha’is in the 1930s’. Baha’i Studies Review, vol. 15, pp. 115-32.
[2] ‘Baha’is’. In Graham Harvey (ed.) Religions in Focus: New Approaches to Tradition and Contemporary Practices. London: Equinox.
[3] Review of The Equality of Women and Men: The Experience of the Baha’iCommunity of Canada, by Deborah K. van den Hoonaard and Will C. van den Hoonaard (2006). Baha’i Studies Review, vol. 15, pp. 161-62.
[4] Review of The Baha’is of Iran: Socio-Historical Studies, by Dominic Parviz Brookshaw and Seena B. Fazel (eds.) (2008). Baha’i Studies Review, vol. 15, pp. 164-70.
2010 ‘The global distribution of Baha’is in the 1940s’. Baha’i Studies Review 16, pp. 135-53.
2011 [1] (With William Collins) ‘Babi and Baha’i millennialism’. In Catherine Wessinger (ed.) Oxford Handbook on Millennialism. Oxford University Press, pp. 474-91.
[2] ‘Shoghi Effendi’s letters to the Baha’is of India and Burma during the 1930s’. Baha’i Studies Review 17, pp. 47-86.
[3] ‘Women in the Baha’i Faith’. Encyclopedia Iranica.
2012 [1] ‘Ranking and the globalization of higher education’. Silpakorn University Journal of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts 12/2, pp. 35-69.
[2] ‘The Baha’i Faith’. Helmut K. Anheier and Mark Juergensmeyer (eds.) Encyclopedia of Global Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[3] ‘Islam-related movements’. Helmut K. Anheier and Mark Juergensmeyer (eds.) Encyclopedia of Global Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS [Addresses correct at the last time of checking]
As sole author:
1. ‘The Bahai communities’. On line at [1988]
2. ‘The routinization of charisma? Some comments on “Motif messianique et processus social dans le Bahaisme”. On line at [Occasional papers in Shaykhi, Babi and Baha’i Studies, vol 2, no. 6 (1998)].
3. The Universal House of Justice and the Baha’i World, 1963-1973. (E-book). [2011]
4. Baha’i Faith’. World Religions and Spirituality Project, Virginia Commonwealth University . [2013]
As editor:
5. In Iran: Studies in Babi and Baha’i History, volume 3. On line at [1986]
With Dr. Moojan Momen:
6. Momen, Moojan and Smith, Peter. ‘Baha’i history’.On line at [For The Baha’i Encyclopedia]. [n.d.]
7. Smith, Peter and Momen, Moojan. ‘The Babi Movement: A resource mobilization perspective’. On line at [1986]
8. Smith, Peter and Momen, Moojan. ‘The Bahá’í Faith 1957-1988: A Survey of Contemporary Developments’. On line at [1989]
9. Smith, Peter and Momen, Moojan Momen. ‘Martyrs, Babi’. On line at [For Encyclopaedia Iranica, 2005].

IV. Peter Smith: My Three Top Objectives for International Colleges in Southeast Asia.
[From my blog, March 2014]
Having now spent almost 3 decades of my life helping to build up what I think is an excellent international college [MUIC], allow me to comment on what I think should be the 3 top educational objectives for international colleges in SE Asia. Note that I am leaving out other essential objectives which are supportive of these but are not in themselves uniquely educational (e.g. excellence in administration), or which are secondary to them (e.g. an excellent library).

1. Excellence in English. Although there are other foreign languages which it is useful for SE Asian students to learn, such as Chinese, Spanish and Indonesian, the effective world language at the present time is English. Particularly in countries like Thailand that do not have an English-speaking background, it is essential that all students be encouraged, pushed or pulled to achieve excellence in English. This is vital for their futures and will greatly enhance their employability in an increasingly globalized world. For the minority of students intent on gaining post-graduate degrees excellent English is essential. I am very pleased that my own College places great emphasis on this goal, having establishing both a strong English language department and a pre-College to help those students whose high school leaving level of English is weak. I am full of praise both for the teachers who devote themselves to this work and the many students who struggle and persevere to perfect their English. Over the years, I have met many hundreds of students whose initial English skills were limited but who made dramatic improvements through their own hard work. I always encourage my own students to carry on reading as much as they can so that their language skills continue to improve.

2. Academic excellence. All students need to strive towards academic excellence. Teachers can help them achieve this goal by providing stimulating and thought-provoking classes, setting reasonably difficult and demanding examinations and enforcing a very strict policy penalizing all forms of cheating and plagiarism.

3. Critical thinking. We all hope that our graduates will find stimulating and responsible jobs when they finish their studies. If they are to play their full part in contributing to the future development of their countries and the organizations and businesses they work for, they need to have developed the ability to think critically for themselves (I am reminded here of the words of the motto of the British Royal Society (est. 1662): Nullius in verba (Take nobody’s word for it)).


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This entry was posted on August 3, 2014 by in Peter Smith.
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