July 18 2018

by Anonymous

Interior of Budapest train station

A new chapter of my life started a few weeks ago with sudden changes—loss of an important romantic relationship and the death of a beloved friend. It was indeed quite a lot to digest all at the same time. I’m still digesting with much less indigestion than before, but nevertheless chewing at the changes.

I’ve travelled… a lot. I just turned fifty this year, and during this glorious lifetime I’ve had the good fortune to visit over 60 countries on all the continents (except for the polar ones). I’ve spent the past couple of years trying to settle down in one spot. And I’ve made some decisions about where to stay and work that didn't go so well. So I moved some more. In fact, since the 2000, I’ve moved fifteen times between seven countries.

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.

 

Francis J. Beckwith with Kristian Petersen

Francis J. Beckwith, professor of philosophy & church-state studies at Baylor University, discusses how we form complex beliefs and if the difference between the process of developing so-called religious beliefs and secular beliefs might be smaller than we think.

Beckwith is the author of "Taking Rites Seriously: Law, Politics, and the Reasonableness of Faith" (Cambridge University Press, 2015). The book won the American Academy of Religion's 2016 Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion in the category of constructive-reflective studies.

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