A Festschrift for John Hinnells

Ursula Sims-Williams Book Notes Leave a Comment

The Ancient and India Iran Trust was recently privileged to hold the launch and presentation of a festschrift to John Hinnells, formerly Professor of Comparative Religion at Manchester University and SOAS, to celebrate his seventy-fifth birthday.

Holy Wealth: Accounting for This World and The Next in Religious Belief and Practice: Festschrift for John R. Hinnells, edited by Almut Hintze and Alan Williams (Iranica 24). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2017

The volume focuses on the interface between material and spiritual wealth, a theme that runs across many religions and cultures and that incorporates a major strand of John R. Hinnells particular fascination with the Zoroastrians of ancient and modern times, and his more general interest in the positive and life-affirming aspects of religious traditions across many domains.

John in animated conversation with colleagues and two of his grandchildren at the book launch

Published in Harrassowitz’s Iranica series with the generous assistance of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe, the festschrift includes seventeen studies by leading scholars exploring ideas of and attitudes to material wealth and its use for promoting spiritual benefits in Zoroastrian, Mithraic, Christian, Buddhist and Islamic traditions:

  • Almut Hintze: “John Russell Hinnells – a Profile”
  • Roger Beck: “Individual and Community Self-Identity in the Mysteries of Mithras”
  • Jamsheed K. Choksy: “The Zoroastrian Creation Myth: Clues to Its Antiquity”
  • Lance S. Cousins †: “On the Earliest Buddhist Schools”
  • Nora K. Firby †: “Mary Carpenter (1807–1877). A Victorian Educationist in Bombay”
  • Aida Foroutan: “Surrealism and Some Strategies of Avoidance of Censorship in Iranian Art”
  • Ron Geaves: “Questioning the Category of ʻSpiritual Capitalʼ Drawing upon Field Studies of ‘Spiritual Entrepreneurs’ and Their Role in the Economic and Social Development of British South Asian Muslims”
  • Richard F. Gombrich: “Why is the kaṭhina robe so called?”
  • Richard L. Gordon: “Cosmic Order, Nature, and Personal Well-Being in the Roman Cult of Mithras”
  • Marcia Hermansen: “Feasts of Paradise: Banqueting and Sacrifice in the Islamic Tradition”
  • Almut Hintze: “Scribes and Their Patrons: on the Merit of Copying Manuscripts in the Zoroastrian Tradition”
  • Firoze M. Kotwal: “The Divine and Exalted Status of the Consecrated Fire in Zoroastrianism”
  • Jesse S. Palsetia: “Parsi Charity: a Historical Perspective on Religion, Community, and Donor-Patron Relations among the Parsis of India”
  • Ken Parry: “‘What can the Pearl of a King do?’ The Idea of Holy Wealth in Byzantium”
  • Dinyar Patel: “The Banaji and Mehta Families: Forging the Parsi Community in Calcutta”
  • Jenny Rose: “Passages in India: Early 19th Century Yankee and Parsi Outings in and around Bombay”
  • Mitra Sharafi: “Parsi Life Writing: Memoirs and Family Histories of Modern Zoroastrians”
  • Alan Williams: “Blindness in the Masnavi of Jalāl al-din Rumi”

A copy of John Hinnells Festschrift is available to view in the trust’s library; shelfmark AIIT.a.1881.

Photo at head: John Hinnells with the two editors, Almut Hintze and Alan Williams

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