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Accusations of Magic against the Religious ‘Others’ in the Late Antique Persianate World

Iran, with its religious plurality and its conversion from Zoroastrianism to Islam, provides rich opportunities for studying the interactions between different religious communities. My dissertation attempts to provide a better understanding of the relationship between Zoroastrians, Christians and Jews in the late antiquity by examining the encounters between their religious specialists, and the changing nature of their interactions as the Persianate world shifted from Zoroastrian to Islamic rule based on the field of magic.

Event details


In this Monday Majlis presentation, I am aiming to show a) the ways in which the institutional religious specialists such as Zoroastrian priests, rabbis and bishops demonized their opponents and employed 'magic' accusations as a rhetorical strategy to marginalize their opponents and draw the borderlines of their own religious identity, b) to examine the consequences of magic labels for interreligious relation in this era and area and c)how did the relationship between these religious specialists changed  after the Muslim conquest of Persia.



About Me
I am a PhD student at Ceres, the Center for Religious Studies at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. I have received my Bachelor in ‘Armenian Literature’ in Esfahan University in Iran. Afterwards, I went to Kerman University to study ‘Ancient Iranian Culture and Languages’ for my Masters’ degree. In my thesis I focused on the concept of afterlife based on Zoroastrian, Christian and Muslim literature. I then came to Germany and started working on my dissertation to examine the encounter between Zoroastrian, Jewish and Christian communities in the Persianate world from the Sasanian empire until the early 9th century CE. From 2019-2021, I started working on Jews in Persianate World in the ERC project, “Jews and Christians in the East”. Currently, I am working as a research associate in Ceres. I give courses on Jewish-Christian-Zoroastrian relations and co-teach a Middle Persian language course. I also edit Persian texts from Medieval Iran and cooperate with the MPCD project which focuses on the Zoroastrian Middle Persian texts.




IAIS Building/LT1