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

Summer Course in Zoroastrian Studies

For the fourth time, the University of Bergen and SOAS in London offer a summer course in Zoroastrianism. This year, in 2024, it will take place at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London (calendar week 27, Monday July 1st to Friday July 5th ).


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.

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

You will be part of an exciting international and cross-disciplinary student group. In the past years, we had participants from Canada, the USA, Chile, Singapore, China, India, Iran, Georgia, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, Norway and the UK. The course is of interest to students of religious studies, Iranian studies, history, Middle Eastern studies, social anthropology, sociology, among other subjects. 


The applications for ZOR201 Summer Course in Zoroastrian studies 2024 are now open. 

The extended application deadline is March 19th, 2024. 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!


Apply for ZOR201

Extended application deadline: March 19th, 2024

(You find the application form below)

Course code: ZOR201

ECTS: 7,5

When: week 27, 2024

Where: School of Oriental and African Studies, London


Mariano Errichielli (SOAS) and Michael Stausberg (UiB)
With Sarah Stewart (SOAS) and Jenny Rose (Claremont Graduate University)


Application form ZOR201, summer 2024