Pious Citizens: Reforming Zoroastrianism in India and Iran

Hossein Ziai Memorial Lecture by Monica Ringer, Amherst College
Monday, February 06, 2012
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
6275 Bunche Hall

Chair: Nikki Keddie, UCLA

Discussant: Touraj Daryaee, UCI

Monica Ringer studied with Hossein Ziai and Nikki Keddie at UCLA, receiving an M.A. in Islamic Studies (1992) and her Ph.D. in Modern Middle Eastern History (1998). Ringer is a past Executive Director for the International Society of Iranian Studies, and currently serves as co-editor of Comparative Studies of South Asia Africa and the Middle East. She teaches Middle Eastern history at Amherst College. She is the author of numerous articles, and a book entitled Education, Religion and the Discourse of Cultural Reform in Qajar Iran.

In her new book Pious Citizens: Reforming Zoroastrianism in India and Iran (Syracuse University Press), Ringer tells the story of a major intellectual revolution in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century India and Iran, one that radically transformed the role of religion in society. Ringer demonstrates how rational and enlightened religion, characterized by social responsibility and the interiorization of piety was understood as essential for the development of modern individuals, citizens, new public space, national identity and secularism.

Touraj Daryaee is Howard C. Baskerville Professor in the History of Iran and the Persianate World at UC Irvine. His publications include The Oxford History of Iran, ed. T. Daryaee, Oxford University Press, January 2012 and Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire, I.B. Tauris, London, 2009 which was the winner of the British Society for Middle East Studies award in 2010.


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