A State of Mixture: Christians, Zoroastrians, and Iranian Political Culture in Late Antiquity

Front Cover
Univ of California Press, Aug 5, 2016 - Religion - 320 pages
Christian communities flourished during late antiquity in a Zoroastrian political system, known as the Iranian Empire, that integrated culturally and geographically disparate territories from Arabia to Afghanistan into its institutions and networks. Whereas previous studies have regarded Christians as marginal, insular, and often persecuted participants in this empire, Richard Payne demonstrates their integration into elite networks, adoption of Iranian political practices and imaginaries, and participation in imperial institutions.

 The rise of Christianity in Iran depended on the Zoroastrian theory and practice of hierarchical, differentiated inclusion, according to which Christians, Jews, and others occupied legitimate places in Iranian political culture in positions subordinate to the imperial religion. Christians, for their part, positioned themselves in a political culture not of their own making, with recourse to their own ideological and institutional resources, ranging from the writing of saints’ lives to the judicial arbitration of bishops. In placing the social history of East Syrian Christians at the center of the Iranian imperial story, A State of Mixture helps explain the endurance of a culturally diverse empire across four centuries.
 
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Violence and the Terms
23
Christians and Zoroastrians in
59
Hagiography
127
The Christian Symbolics of Power in a Zoroastrian Empire
164
Conclusion
199
Bibliography
237
Index
293
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2016)

Richard E. Payne is Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History at the University of Chicago.

Bibliographic information