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The Spirit of Zoroastrianism

The Spirit of Zoroastrianism (New)

by Skjaervo, Prods Oktor'

Publisher: Yale University Press

Binding: Paperback

Book ID: 9780300170351, 0300170351

$18.95

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Description

Zoroastrianism is one of the world's oldest religions, though it is not among the best understood. Originating with Iranian tribes living in Central Asia in the second millennium BCE, Zoroastrianism was the official religion of the Iranian empires until Islam superseded it in the seventh century AD. Centered on the worship of Ahura Mazda, the All-knowing Ruler, Zoroastrianism follows the practices and rituals set out by the prophet Zarathustra, according to the indigenous tradition. As one of the world's great religions, Zoroastrianism has a heritage rich in texts and cultic practices. The texts are often markedly difficult to translate, but in this volume, Prods Oktor Skjaervo, professor of ancient Iranian languages and culture at Harvard, provides modern and accurate translations of Zoroastrian texts that have been selected to provide an overview of Zoroastrian beliefs and practices.

Table of Contents:

Preface -- Acknowledgements -- Editorial note -- Introduction -- 1. Zoroastrian Literature -- Background -- The Avesta and other Zoroastrian literature -- 2. Creation and the Divine World -- Cosmic contrasts and the two Spirits -- Order and chaos -- Creation -- Gods -- Demons -- The creation of living beings -- 3. Mythical History and the Zarathustra Myth -- Hero-sacrificers of the first ages -- 4. Eschatology and the End of the World -- 5. Body and Soul -- 6. Death, Rewards, and Punishment -- 7. Ethics -- 8. Rituals -- The Yasna, a ritual re-creation of the world -- The Videvdad, a ritual purification of the world -- Other rituals -- 9. On Kingship -- 10. Doctrinal Issues -- Translations -- 1. Texts on the History of the Sacred Tradition -- From the Pahlavi texts -- 2. Texts on Creation and the Divine World -- From the Old Persian inscriptions -- From the Old Avesta -- From the Young Avesta -- From the Pahlavi texts -- 3. Texts on Mythical History -- Hero-sacrificers of the first ages in the Young Avesta -- Hero-sacrificers of the first ages in the Pahlavi texts -- Zarathustra and the Gathic characters in the Gathas -- Zarathustra and the Gathic characters in the Young Avesta -- Zarathustra in the Pahlavi texts -- 4. Texts on Eschatology and the End of the World -- On the actors of the final battles -- On the evils that are befalling and will befall Iran -- On the resurrection and the Final Body -- 5. Texts on Body and Soul -- From the Young Avesta -- From the Old Persian inscriptions -- From the Pahlavi texts -- 6. Texts on Death, Rewards, and Punishment -- From the Young Avesta -- From the Old Persian inscriptions -- From the Middle Persian inscriptions -- From the Pahlavi texts -- 7. Texts on Ethics -- From the Young Avesta -- From the Old Persian inscriptions -- From the Pahlavi texts -- 8. Ritual Texts -- From the Old Avesta -- From the Young Avesta -- From the Pahlavi texts -- From the Avesta and Zand -- 9. Texts on Kingship -- From the Old Persian inscriptions -- From the Middle Persian inscriptions -- From the Pahlavi texts -- 10. Texts on Doctrinal Issues -- Diverging practices in the Yasna -- On right practices and foreign worship -- From the Pahlavi books -- Select bibliography -- List of texts translated -- Glossarial index.

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