This monograph is a revised version of a doctoral dissertation completed at the Centre for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto in 1996. At the beginning, the author enunciates clearly his purpose, method, and organization, and he adheres closely to the agenda he has set. His purpose is to provide a sophisticated comparison of early Syriac Christianity with the Bahaءi faith as enunciated by its founder Bahaullah. His method rests primarily on adaptations of concepts developed for cultural anthropology by Sherry Ortner and for comparative religion by Ninian Smart. Briefly characterized, his approach is a comparison of central symbols drawn from the two religious traditions as represented by a normative set of texts. While eschewing a strictly historical method, Buck strives to avoid the pitfalls of older comparative studies by attending to the distinctive historical contexts of the 4th-century Syriac Christian authors Ephrem and Aphrahat and the 19th-century articulation of the faith of Bahaullah.