“A Nice Morality: ” Some Early Meetings between Zoroastrians and North Americans


Jenny Rose


January 12, 2024


Jenny Rose’s illustrated talk, based on research for her most recent book – Between Boston and Bombay: Cultural and Commercial Encounters of Yankees and Parsis 1771-1865 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), will focus on the earl contact of Americans with Zoroastrians and their religion from the late 18th to the mid-19th century. American interest in the “Persian Religion” was informed initially through secondhand reports, but once direct trade with India was established close links were formed with Parsi seths in Mumbai, which are documented in personal letters, journals, and logbooks now held in American libraries.

This presentation explores some of these first hand American records before a brief look at accounts of a few Parsis who made their way to North America at the time of the Civil War.Bio:

Dr. Jenny Rose is currently a Research Fellow of Claremont Graduate University, where she taught classes on the Zoroastrian religion for two decades, after graduating in Iranian Studies from Columbia University. Her proposed volume for Routledge titled The Zoroastrian World (co-edited with Albert DeJong and Sarah Stewart) is in process, with contributions from across the Zoroastrian world, as well as from non-Zoroastrian academics.

Dr. Rose is scheduled to be the study leader for several educational tours next year, one of which explores the silk road across Central Asia: the other visits European museums which house ancient Iranian and related Central Asian collections.