Zoroastrian Survey from Dr. Howard Gontovnick

This is to introduce Dr. Howard Gontovnick of the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, New York, and his very important survey of the current beliefs and practices of the North American Zoroastrian community.

Dr. Gontovnick writes: “As a professor of world religions, I am looking to better understand the current role of a religion in the daily life of Zoroastrians today. Over the past few years, even though my students would express their lack of knowledge about Zoroastrianism, they would genuinely convey a great appreciation of the tradition expressed in the ethical and lifestyle guidelines. Consequently, I made every effort to go beyond the usual text book description and strive to include more real life content.”
More and more researchers and scholars’ in the academic world have tried to understand the current practices as they all feel that, although ancient, our faith has more relevance to today’s world. Therefore it is my hope that you will promote the completion of this survey to the members of your community. This research will not only benefit an educational program, but also for the Zoroastrian community to reflect on it as well.

Homi D. Gandhi
President, FEZANA

SURVEY ADDRESS: https://goo.gl/forms/WMACvgNNFuPjhgSb2

Dear Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to invite your participation in this very important survey designed to learn about the current beliefs and practices of the Zoroastrian community throughout North America. If you live outside North America and would like to share your thoughts, you are most welcome to participate and indicate on the survey that you live outside of North America.

My name is Dr. Howard Gontovnick and I teach World Religions at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, New York. Zoroastrianism is a tradition that is an important part of my course and an essential tradition to understanding other global religions. It is my desire to better understand the current realities and expectations of Zoroastrians throughout North America and at the same time share this knowledge.

Recognizing the significance of this research, I wish to highlight what I believe this survey can accomplish;

  1. To provide a clear and current understanding of the beliefs and practices of adult Zoroastrians living in North America in 2017.
  2. In some respect I believe this can be considered a measure of the future of Zoroastrianism in North America – revealing the expectations of the community
  3. To provide the Zoroastrian and academic community (scholars and students) an up-to-date picture as to the role Zoroastrianism plays in a practitioner’s life.

This survey was created in consultation and the helpful assistance of Dr. Dolly Dastoor, (Editor of FEZANA Journal) Ervad Gev Karkaria, and Homi D. Gandhi, (President – FEZANA). The data attained from this survey will only used to provide a better understanding of the community and its supportive role for the practitioner in North America. Upon completion, my goal is to share all my findings with the Zoroastrian community and hope to present a paper on this theme to an international conference on religion at some future date.

If you have any comments or suggestions, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you at any time on any issue. I wish to acknowledge my sincere appreciation to everyone who participates in this educational project and recognize the individuals previously mentioned who have been vital to developing this research project. If you would like to contact me, please do so at the following email:  hgont001@plattsburgh.edu

Best wishes & thank you for your cooperation,
Professor Howard Gontovnick, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
State University of New York (SUNY)
Plattsburgh, New York
Interdisciplinary Studies
101 Broad street,
226 Ward Hall, Plattsburgh
New York, 12901-2681

SURVEY ADDRESS – https://goo.gl/forms/WMACvgNNFuPjhgSb2
*Please keep in mind that this survey will conclude at the end of April 2017.

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