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Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices

Auteur :
Éditeur : Routledge & Kegan Paul Date & Lieu : 1979, London
Préface : Pages : 252
Traduction : ISBN : 0-7100-0121-5
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 152x254 mm
Thème : Religion

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices

Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices

Zoroastrianism is the most difficult of living faiths to study, because of its antiquity, the vicissitudes which it has undergone, and the loss, through them, of many of its holy texts. Originating over 3 500 years ago in a Bronze Age culture on the Asian steppes, it became the state religion of three mighty Iranian empires in succession, and so was endowed for many centuries with temporal power and wealth. Its lofty original doctrines came accordingly to exert their influence throughout the Middle East - an area where Judaism developed, and Christianity and Islam were born. To the east Iranian rule extended into Northern India, and there Zoroastrianism made a contribution to the development of Mahayana Buddhism. Some knowledge of the teachings of Zoroaster and of the history of his faith is therefore needed by every serious student of world religions; and the recent expansion of religious studies in universities has created a demand for an introductory book on this theme. The present work is an attempt to meet that demand. In it it has been sought to treat Zoroastrianism not merely as a mighty seminal influence, but also as a noble faith in its own right, which has held the loyalty of its followers over millennia and through harsh persecutions. Instead, therefore, of stopping, as is usual, with the worldly eclipse of Zoroastrianism by Islam, the book traces the continual history of the community through the subsequent years of oppression, down into the prosperity of modern times...

Table des Matières


Preface / xiii
Glossary / xv
Signs and abbreviations / xix

1 The background / 1
The Indo-Iranians
The old religion
The cult
The gods
Death and the hereafter

2 Zoroaster and his teaching / 17
Zoroaster and his mission
Ahura Mazda and his Adversary
The heptad and the seven creations
Creation and the Three Times
Death and the hereafter

3 The establishing of Mazda worship / 30
The Zoroastrian badge
The times and manner of praying
The seven festivals
The oldest prayers
The creed
The liturgy and Yenhe hattlm
The Ashem vohu
The hymns

4 The unrecorded centuries / 39
The early days
Doctrinal developments
Belief in a world Saviour
The extension of purity laws
Priests and worship

5 Under the Achaemenians / 48
The Medes, the Persians and Zoroaster
The early kings
Darius the Great
Achaemenian palaces and tombs
Fires and fire altars
The divine beings
Icons and temples
The priesthood
The Zurvanite heresy
The Zoroastrian calendar
The three world Saviours
Practices of the faith
The spread of Zoroaster's teaching

6 Under the Seleucids and Arsacids / 78
Alexander and Iran
The Seleucids and Iran
The rise of the Parthians
Eastern Iranian borders: the Kushans
Western Iranian borders: Armenia
Fire temples and image shrines
Funerary practices
Developments in calendar and chronology
The Avesta
Developments in the scribal tradition
Human affairs
Next-of-kin marriages
Ecclesiastical organization

7 Under the early Sasanians / 101
The rise of the Sasanians
Tansar, a religious propagandist
Calendar changes
Iconoclasm and sacred fires
The rise of Kirder, the second great prelate
The prophet Mani
Zurvanism in the early Sasanian period
Learning and writing
The summit of Kirder's power
Persian made the official language of all Iran

8 During the mid Sasanian period / 118
Upholding a Zurvanite orthodoxy
The three great sacred fires
Liturgical reform
Religious literature and royal propaganda
Calendar reform
The Mazdakite movement

9 Under the later Sasanians / 132
Khosrow 'the Just'
The written Avesta
The Pahlavi literature
Religious observances
The last years of Zoroastrian Iran

10 Under the Caliphs / 145
The Arab conquest of Iran
Inducements and barriers to conversion
Islam takes root in Iran
Zoroastrians in ninth-century Iran
Zoroastrians in tenth-century Iran
Turkish and Mongol invasions of Iran

11 Under Il-Khans, Rajahs and Sultans / 163
Zoroastrian survival
Manuscript copying and preservation
The Parsi founding fathers
Parsis in the twelfth to fourteenth centuries
Parsis in the fifteenth century
Irani Zoroastrians in the sixteenth century
Parsis in the sixteenth century

12 Under the Safavids and Mughals / 177
Irani Zoroastrians under Shah 'Abbas: their beliefs and practices
Parsis in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
Eighteenth-century Parsi religious disputes
Irani Zoroastrians in the eighteenth century
The Parsi Panchayat of Bombay
Eighteenth-century European studies of Zoroastrian beliefs

13 Under the Qajars and British / 196
Christian missionaries and Parsi beliefs
Parsi religious reforms
Haug and West on Zoroastrian beliefs
Theosophy and the Parsis
Ilm-i Khshnum: Zoroastrian occultism
Parsis and the printed word
The Parsi practice of the faith
Irani Zoroastrians in the nineteenth century
Parsi calendar and religious reform in the early twentieth century

14 In the twentieth century / 216
Urban Parsis
Zoroastrians in modern Iran
Parsis in independent India and Pakistan
Recent interpretations of Zoroastrian belief
International dispersion

Bibliography / 229
Index / 237

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