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In Pious Citizens, Ringer tells the story of a major intellectual revolution in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century India and Iran, one that radically transformed the role of religion in society. At this time, key theological debates revolved around Zoroastrianism’s capacity to generate "progress" and "civilization." Armed with both the destructive and creative capacities of historicism, reformers reevaluated their own religious tradition, molding Zoroastrian belief and practice according to contemporary ideas of rational religion and its potential to create pious citizens. Ringer demonstrates how rational and enlightened religion, characterized by social responsibility and the interiorization of piety, was understood as essential for the development of modern individuals, citizens, new public space, national identity, and secularism. She argues persuasively that reformers believed not only that social reform must be accompanied by religious reform but that it was in fact a product of religious reform.

Pious Citizens offers new insights into the theological premises behind the promotion of secularism, the privatization of religion, and the development of new national identities. Ringer’s work also explores growing connections between the Iranian and Indian Zoroastrian communities and the revival of the ancient Persian past.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xviii
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  1. Introduction: Modernity, Religion, and the Production of Knowledge
  2. pp. 1-29
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  1. 1. Bombay and Murmurs of Reform: Religion as “Civilization” and “Progress"
  2. pp. 30-46
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  1. 2. The Protestant Challenge to Zoroastrianism
  2. pp. 47-70
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  1. 3. The Parsi Response: Rational Religion and the Rethinking of Tradition
  2. pp. 71-90
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  1. 4. Western Religious Studies Scholarship
  2. pp. 91-109
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  1. 5. Parsi Religious Reform in the Second Generation: The Recovery of “True” Religion
  2. pp. 110-141
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  1. 6. The Parsi Rediscovery of Ancient Iran
  2. pp. 142-162
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  1. 7. Iranian Nationalism and the Zoroastrian Past
  2. pp. 163-183
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  1. 8. Kay Khosrow Shahrokh: Rational Religion and Citizenship in Iran
  2. pp. 184-195
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  1. Conclusion: Religion and the Creation of Pious Citizens
  2. pp. 196-234
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 235-244
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 245-260
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 261-273
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  1. Back Cover
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