The Study of Zoroastrianism and the Academic Study of Religion

Recorded: May 30, 2018
Event: Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series
Citation: Jong, Albert. "The Study of Zoroastrianism and the Academic Study of Religion," Pourdavoud Center Lecture Series. May 30, 2018.

by Albert de Jong (Leiden University)

The Study of Zoroastrianism and the Academic Study of Religion

Even though the study of Zoroastrianism was an important subject in the early years of the History of Religions as a new discipline, it has slowly faded out of the conscience of all but a handful of specialists. This has been neither good for the study of Zoroastrianism, nor for the academic study of religion in general. This lecture will attempt to reconstruct what happened and sketch a way towards a better future for both fields.

About the Speaker

Albert de Jong is Professor of the Study of Religion in the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. He studied Theology and Persian (cum laude) in Utrecht from 1984 to 1990, and Old and Middle Iranian languages at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London from 1990 to 1991. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Utrecht in 1996 with a dissertation on Zoroastrianism in Greek and Latin literature. For this work, he was awarded a Golda Meir post-doctoral fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which he held from 1996 to 1997. Upon his return to the Netherlands, he started a post-doctoral project funded by the Netherlands Science Organization on the internal diversity of Zoroastrianism at the Faculty of Theology of Leiden University, which he gave up in 1998 for a lectureship in the study of religion in Leiden. In 2008, he was appointed Professor of Study of Religion in that same university. He is currently finishing a small book in French on the general history of Zoroastrianism and a two-volume publication on Parthian Zoroastrianism based on the academic Nachlass of Professor Mary Boyce.