October 21 2017

Christians and Zoroastrians in Ancient Iran with Richard E. Payne

Interview by Kristian Petersen

In the Zoroastrian Empire of Iran during late antiquity, what were the limits of Christian identity? Richard E. Payne, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History at the University of Chicago, explains how Christians were able to navigate the Iranian political world and how their identity as Christians did not necessarily preclude political participation in a thoroughly Zoroastrian empire.

Payne is the author of A State of Mixture: Christians, Zoroastrians, and Iranian Political Culture in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 2015), which won the AAR's 2016 Book Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the category of historical studies.

Read the review of Payne's book, by Jenny Rose, in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.