Қош келдіңіз! My name is Christopher Schwartz. I’m an academic and journalist specialized in Eurasia (a.k.a., the post-Soviet space). I work as the Editor-in-Chief of NewEurasia Citizen Media, Central Eurasia’s largest citizen journalism platform. I’m also a contributor to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Transitions Online. My intellectual interests range far and wide, but I suppose they inevitably end up revoling around two themes: the religious life and the philosophy of journalism. My work has appeared on the BBC and Al-Jazeera, and I’ve been published in languages which I’m convinced are quite awesome, such as Latvian, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek. I enjoy questions of human evolution and perennial philosophy (variously understood). Fundamentally, I understand myself as exploring the riddle of faith and reason in all its many facets. One day, I shall visit Timbuktu and Karakorum. If you like, click here to read my resumé (American style).
I’m also a spiritual traveller. I was raised in a joint Baptist-Methodist church by a Christian mother and a Jewish father from the Presbyterian and Conservative traditions, respectively. After exploring Islam for ten years, I ultimately joined the Bahá’í Faith and haven’t looked back since.
My heritage is one of the keys to the way I think. I’m the grandson of Charles Schwartz, one of the founders of Columbia Pictures and modern copyright law, and our clan, the Bricianers, reaches back in time to Bessarabia and beyond. My grandparents’ book of Jewish philosophical theology, Faith Through Reason, was one of the major inspirations for my philosophical interests. And all this is to say nothing of my Scottish genealogy in the Henderson clan…
This blog serves the double function of sounding board and personal journal, replete with samples of published works and reflections (“Schwartztronica”). Password-protected posts are for friends and family only; if you want to read them, please contact me. But in all cases, public posts and private posts, the views expressed herein comprise my personal journey and should not be construed as authoritative or representative of either my employers, university, friends and colleagues, or faith. Nevertheless, if you are interested in following my reflections, I welcome your subscription.
Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart. — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
History, like poetry, is mimetic and produces as many truths as it contains fortuitous facts. — John Wansbrough, Qur’anic Studies
To consider mankind otherwise than brethren, to think favors are peculiar to one nation and exclude others, plainly supposes a darkness in understanding. — John Woolman, Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes
I swear by the glow of sunset; by the night, and all that it brings together; by the moon, in her full perfection: that you shall all march onwards from state to state. — L’Être, Qur’an, 84:16
This is the coming of age of this planet. Just as America was discovered, so other planets may be discovered, and in conjunction with them we may become a member of a greater entity. — Shoghi Effendi
Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty. — Baha’u'llah, Hidden Words, Arabic #3
Verily, We shall render Thee victorious by Thyself and by Thy Pen. Grieve Thou not for that which hath befallen Thee, neither be Thou afraid, for Thou art in safety. Erelong will God raise up the treasures of the earth, men who will aid Thee through Thyself and through Thy Name, wherewith God hath revived the hearts of such as have recognized Him. — Baha’u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf