Department of Religions and Philosophies

Dr Mariano Errichiello

Key information

Department of Religions and Philosophies Shapoorji Pallonji Lecturer in Zoroastrianism Shapoorji Pallonji Institute of Zoroastrian Studies Co-Chair and Executive Director
BA (Parthenope); MA (SOAS); PhD (SOAS)
Religions & Philosophies
Email address
Telephone number
+44 (0)20 7898 4270
Support hours
Tuesdays 15:00-17:00


I am a scholar of Zoroastrianism with an interest in the modern period and a focus on interdisciplinary methods.

I studied International Management at the Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope, in Italy. In 2009, I joined PwC where I held several leadership roles in Latin America and the UK. In 2014, I continued my education in leadership and management by joining an executive programme at Columbia Business School in New York.

In 2015, I enrolled on a part-time Master’s degree at SOAS, specialising in Zoroastrianism. I decided on a career shift and, in 2018, started a PhD to research Zoroastrian hermeneutics in modern India, with a focus on esoteric forms of knowledge. I presented the findings of my research in several international academic conferences and engaged in a number of outreach activities in Asia, Europe and the US, earning two honourable mentions by the Ancient India & Iran Trust of Cambridge.

In 2021, I was selected as the Resident Fellow of the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations and Spiritualities at Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice. In 2022, I was invited as a Research Fellow of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen. In the academic year 2022/23, I joined the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg to conduct anthropological research on Zoroastrian ritual performance in India.

In September 2023, I returned to the School of History, Religions and Philosophies at SOAS as the Shapoorji Pallonji Lecturer of Zoroastrianism, Co-Chair and Executive Director of the Shapoorji Pallonji Institute of Zoroastrian Studies.

Research interests

Interdisciplinarity has characterised my academic trajectory. My research draws upon theories and methods of anthropology, sociology, history and the study of language. The primary aim of my research is to bring textuality into dialogue with Zoroastrianism as a living religion, acknowledging multiple ontologies and adopting innovative epistemological approaches. 

My doctoral research focused on modern Zoroastrian esotericism. Some of its findings constitute an article that, in 2023, was awarded with the inaugural Early Career Prize by the Journal of Persianate Studies and the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies. I am currently turning my dissertation into a monograph for the South Asia Research series of Oxford University Press. I also co-edit a special issue on Zoroastrian esotericism for the journal Religiographies.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, I did research on Zoroastrian funerary practices. A blog article and a book chapter contributed to the CoronAsur initiative of the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. The findings of this research, combined with an interest in the living community of India, led to my current focus on contemporary ritual performance. As a Research Fellow at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, I conducted research on the nīrangdīn (‘power of religion’) ceremony. A blog article and a chapter for an edited volume published by Brill discuss the key findings of this project.

Future research plans include the study of spatial and temporal ritual boundaries, aesthetics and distributed agency in the Zoroastrian liturgy. I am also interested in investigating further the Parsi Gujarati modern literature and the relational role of the world’s Zoroastrian priests in the context of different ontologies.


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