The Persian Circle presents
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Prof. Bruce Lincoln
Dept. History of Religions, University of Chicago
From Ritual Practice to Esoteric Knowledge: The Problem of the Magi
5828 South University Avenue
Bruce Lincoln emphasizes critical approaches to the study of religion. He is particularly interested in issues of discourse, practice, power, conflict, and the violent reconstruction of social borders. His research tends to focus on the religions of pre-Christian Europe and pre-Islamic Iran, but he has a notoriously short attention span and has also written on a bewildering variety of topics, including Guatemalan curanderismo, Lakota sun dances, Melanesian funerary rituals, Swazi kingship, the Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre, Marco Polo, professional wrestling, Persian imperialism, the theology of George W. Bush, and comparative demonology. His most recent publications include Between History and Myth: Stories of Harald ‘Fairhair’ and the Founding of the State (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2013), “Happiness for Mankind”: Achaemenian Religion and the Imperial Project (Louvain: Peeters, 2012), Gods and Demons, Priests and Scholars: Critical Explorations in the History of Religions (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2012), Religion, Empire, and Torture. The Case of Achaemenian Persia (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2007). The latter was awarded the Frank Moore Cross Award for the most substantial volume related to ancient Near Eastern and eastern Mediterranean epigraphy, text and/or tradition as the result of original research published during the past two years by the American Society of Oriental Research.
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