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Objectives & Methodology



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

  • To estimate the population of ‘Zoroastrians-by choice’.

  • The study 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐨-𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐟𝐬 & 𝐩𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐬, 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬, 𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐧𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐢𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐟 ‘𝐙𝐨𝐫𝐨𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐬-𝐛𝐲-𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞’

  • To study the 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐬 of ‘Zoroastrians-by-choice’.

  • 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 'Zorostrians-by-choice'.

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


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

  • Structured online and offline surveys among the Zoroastrians-by-choice 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.

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