Lecture by Daniel J. Sheffield (University of Washington). Sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies as part of the Zoroastrianism Studies Lecture Series. Free and open to the public.
In 1478, an Indian Zoroastrian named Nariman Hoshang arrived in the village of Turkabad in Iran, reconnecting the previously isolated Indian and Iranian Zoroastrian communities with one another. Over the course of the next three hundred years, dozens of letters were exchanged between the communities of Gujarat and Iran, along with gifts, ritual materials, and religious manuscripts. In this talk, we examine the friendships, trade partnerships, and intellectual networks that formed between Indian and Iranian Zoroastrians in the early modern period in order to sketch out a shared history of the Zoroastrian community.
Daniel Sheffield is Assistant Professor of the History of the Islamic World before 1850 at the University of Washington. His book manuscript, Cosmopolitan Zarathustras: Religion, Translation, and Prophethood in Iran and South Asia, uncovers the cosmopolitan life of the Persian language through a study of the participation of Zoroastrians in broader networks of learning between the thirteenth and the nineteenth centuries. Recent publications appear in the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism (ed. Stausberg and Vevaina), No Tapping around Philology: A Festschrift for Wheeler M. Thackston Jr.’s 70th Birthday (ed. Korangy and Sheffield), and On the Wonders of Land and Sea: Persianate Travel Writing (ed. Micallef and Sharma). He is currently pursuing research on a second book project, tentatively entitled On Translation and Toleration: The Free-Thinkers of Safavid Iran and Mughal India.