For many centuries, from the birth of the religion late in the second millennium BC to its influence on the Achaemenids and later adoption in the third century AD as the state religion of the Sasanian Empire, it enjoyed imperial patronage and profoundly shaped the culture of antiquity. The Magi of the New Testament most probably were Zoroastrian priests from the Iranian world, while the enigmatic figure of Zarathushtra (or Zoroaster) himself has exerted continual fascination in the West, influencing creative artists as diverse as Voltaire, Nietzsche, Mozart and Yeats. This authoritative volume brings together internationally recognised scholars to explore Zoroastrianism in all its rich complexity. Examining key themes such as history and modernity, tradition and scripture, art and architecture and mirity status and religious identity, it places the modern Zoroastrians of Iran, and the Parsis of India, in their proper contexts. The book extends and complements the coverage of its companion volume, The Everlasting Flame.
Alan Williams is Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Religion at the University of Manchester and a British Academy Wolfson Professor from 2013-2016. His publications include The Zoroastrian Myth of Migration from Iran and Settlement in the Indian Diaspora (2009) and The Vision of Rumi: Revealing the Masnavi, Persia's Great Masterpiece (I.B.Tauris, 2016). Sarah Stewart is Lecturer in Zoroastrianism at SOAS, University of London. She is co-general editor of the series 'The Idea of Iran', within which she has co-edited six volumes (all published by I.B.Tauris), and editor of The Zoroastrian Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination (I.B.Tauris, 2014). Almut Hintze is the Zartoshty Brothers Professor of Zoroastrianism at SOAS, University of London. Her publications include A Zoroastrian Liturgy: The Worship in Seven Chapters, Yasna 35-41 (2007).