Reforming Zoroastrianism in India and Iran

Zoroastrianism: modern Zoroastrian priest tending a temple fire. Image © Encyclopædia Britannica

Sheffield, Daniel. 2015. Review of Monica Ringer, Pious Citizens: Reforming Zoroastrianism in India and Iran (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 2011). International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES) 47(4). 833–835.

Pious Citizens trace ideas of “true” and “rational” religion in Western India and Iran between the years 1830 and 1940. Her story begins in the city of Bombay, where in the early 19th century traditional networks of Parsi authority were disrupted by the rise of merchant capital in the metropole and emigration away from older centers of communal hierarchy. This forms the backdrop for the beginning of the Zoroastrian reform movement, in which religious and social reform were linked.