There are many ways to look at history. Ancient historians sought to glorify heroes and battles. Modern historians have found new directions, looking at the past through such lenses as sociology, psychology, economics, and, more recently, race and gender.
In “Spirituality in the Land of the Noble: How Iran Shaped the World’s Religions”, Richard C. Foltz keeps the focus tight by using the lens of geography to examine the history of world religions.
An associate professor of religion at the University of Florida, he zooms in on Iran, chronologically tracing the currents and cross-currents of religious history there.
He gives the range of religions that have been bound up with Iran throughout history: Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Gnostic Traditions, Islam, and the Bábi Movement and the Bahá’í Faith — virtually all of the world’s major religions, in other words.