Objectives & Methodology

Objectives:

 

The Neo-Zoroastrian project, which is based at SOAS, University of London aims to:

  • To undertake a population census of ‘Neo-Zoroastrians’ by reaching out to maximum Neo-Zoroastrians globally.

  • To study the motivations to adopt Zoroastrianism, socio-cultural and religious practices, ethnocultural identity, and migratory patterns of Neo-Zoroastrians.

  • To survey the origins, organisational structures, and functions of various organisations and groups with Neo-Zoroastrian membership.

  • To survey the behavioural and attitudinal patterns of Zoroastrians towards the Neo-Zoroastrians.

  • To investigate the challenges faced and the interaction between the Neo-Zoroastrians and Zoroastrian.

Methodology:

The project will employ various ethnographic research methods and other tools to realise the aforesaid objectives.

  • Structured online and offline surveys among the Neo-Zoroastrians and Zoroastrians.

  • In-depth audio-visual interviews with lay members of Neo-Zoroastrian and Zoroastrian communities; Mobeds, Mobediyars, religious facilitators, policymakers, and others.

  • Analysis of personal and publicly available documents.

  • Participant-observation and other techniques to observe and record socio-cultural and religious activities.

  • Network analysis to study the relationship between individuals, groups, organisations, etc.

The initial stage of the project will involve online fieldwork through structured questionnaires, interviews, informal interactions, and attending online events. As and when the Covid-19 situation subsides, the researcher will travel to the USA, Canada, parts of Europe, and Central Asia to visit various Zoroastrian communities to gather better insights for the project.