Is Zoroastrianism an Iranian Religion?

This is an Archive of a Past Event

Lecture by Albert de Jong (Leiden University Centre for the Study of Religion). Part of the Zoroastrianism Studies Lecture Series.

The question whether or not Zoroastrianism was or is an Iranian religion has been answered in various ways throughout the long history of Zoroastrianism, and throughout the much shorter history of the academic study of Zoroastrianism. The different answers to that question reflect different ways of understanding the nature of Zoroastrianism and of understanding the notion of Iran – a notion developed first and foremost within Zoroastrian thought. It is impossible to answer the question with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but we will use these discussions as a lens through which to see some of the major problems for those who want to write the history of Zoroastrianism and that of Iran, as well as for those who identify as ‘Zoroastrian’, as ‘Iranian’, or both.