What is the place of religion in the modern world?
Six billion people identify with a religion today. SOAS asks questions about what unites believers and their practices – both ancient and modern. We also investigate how religion divides people, how sectarian conflicts emerge and how terrorists harness faith.
The Zoroastrian religion originated some 3,000 years ago among the tribes of Central Asia – and then blossomed in ancient Iran, where it remained the main faith until the advent of Islam. In addition to the indigenous Zoroastrian population of approximately 20,000 in Iran, a diaspora of 120,000 believers is scattered across the world, but primarily in India.
The scholarship of Professor Almut Hintze and Dr Sarah Stewart led to the first major exhibition of Zoroastrian artefacts, manuscripts, art and textiles “The Everlasting Flame” in London and then in Delhi, raising awareness of this 3,000 year old religion and its rich influence on today’s dominant belief systems.
Now we are looking to endow posts that will pioneer new research to promote intercultural understanding of major world faiths, including Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism.
Find out more about SOAS questions of the world's religions and philosophies