Institutt for arkeologi, historie, kultur- og religionsvitenskap
Zoroastrian Studies

Summer Course in Zoroastrian Studies

Once again, the University of Bergen and SOAS in London offer a summer course in Zoroastrianism in Rome. This time in June.


Zoroastrianism is a living religious tradition with historical roots in ancient Iran and Central Asia. Once the dominant religion in pre-Islamic Iran, the main contemporary Zoroastrian communities can be found in India, Iran, and a range of other countries such as Britain, Canada, the US and Sweden.

Courses on Zoroastrianism are few and far between. The University of Bergen (Norway) and the Shapoorji Pallonji Institute of Zoroastrian Studies at SOAS, University of London have joined forces to offer international students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the study of this religion with its rich history.


The topic of the course this year is ‘Zoroastrianism as a religious minority in modern and contemporary Iran’.

We are offering an intensive learning experience. The course requires prior reading and class presentations. The course is held in English, so a good working knowledge of English is required. The course will be held in the beautiful surroundings of the Norwegian Institute in Rome.

Sarah Stewart (SOAS) and Michael Stausberg (UiB) will be joined by Jenny Rose (Claremont Graduate University, USA) for a vibrant learning community.


The applications for ZOR201 Summer Course in Zoroastrian studies 2022 are now open. 

The application deadline is 27 March 2022. In order to apply, please fill in the application form you find below on this page,
and send it to advice@ahkr.uib.no

Former student John Bramley has this to say about the course in 2019:

"When you study, there comes opportunities to travel and see other parts of the world. For some of us however there might be other factors preventing one from being abroad for a fullsemester. When I saw that SOAS and UiB offered the opportunity to spend a week in Rome, learning about one of the world’s oldest living religions, I felt I had to go. And I can now say that I am really happy I did.

First of all, the city. If you have never been to Rome, you should really go. It’s amazing. If you have been, you know what I mean, and you probably want back. The Norwegian institute in Rome is located on the hills above Trastevere (where you get the best food, awayfrom the tourist traps), and the view is breathtaking. The many lunches we had in the restaurants of Trastevere were great for getting to know each other. Since it is a collaboration with SOAS, I got to know many great people from all over the world.

The Professors, Michael, Sarah and Jenny were amazing. Their knowledge on this (for many) obscure and unfamiliar religion is beyond impressive, and the discussions they lead on anything from ancient history to modern political struggles in Iran were both engaging and informative. I learned a lot that week, and much of it challenged my previous impressions of Iranian culture.

These are some of the reasons why I will forever remember this course fondly. You learn loads, in a short stretch of time, and you meet amazing people in beautiful surroundings. It’s perfect for you if you want to travel during your studies, but can’t commit to a full semester, or if you want to challenge your bias on one of the worlds most controversial countries at the moment.

You have nothing to lose, but loads to gain. Enjoy!