Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 2001 - Religion - 252 pages
8 Reviews
This book traces the continuous history of the faith from the time it was preached by Zoroaster down to the present day - a span of about 3,500 years. First taught among nomads on the Asian steppes, Zoroastrianism became the state religion of the three great Iranian empires and had a remarkable influence on other world faiths: to the east on northern Buddhism, to the west on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. With the conquest of Iran by the Muslim Arabs, Zoroastrianism lost its secular power, but continued to survive as a minority faith. Despite its antiquity, it remains a living religion.
  

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Review: Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices

User Review  - Barnaby Thieme - Goodreads

The student of religions has few options when it comes to Zoroastrianism. Its scriptures have not been translated into English in over a century and there are vanishingly few scholars capable of ... Read full review

Review: Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices

User Review  - Joe - Goodreads

This book does a great job of covering the history, theology, and changes of the Zoroastrian religion. It was packed with information, but still written well enough to be able to follow and not be ... Read full review

Contents

The background
1
The IndoIranians
2
The old religion
3
The gods
6
Death and the hereafter
12
Conclusion
16
Zoroaster and his teachings
17
Zoroaster and his mission
18
Iconoclasm and sacred fires
106
The rise of Kirder the second great prelate
109
The prophet Mani
111
Zurvanism in the early Sasanian period
112
Learning and writing
113
The summit of Kirders power
114
Persian made the official language of all Iran
116
Conclusion
117

Ahttra Mazda and his Adversary
19
The heptad and the seven creations
21
Creation and the Three Times
25
Death and the hereafter
27
The establishing of Mazda worship
30
The Zoroastrian badge
31
The times and manner of praying
32
The seven festivals
33
The oldest prayers
34
The creed
35
The liturgy and Yenhe hatąn
37
The Ashem vohu
38
The unrecorded centuries
39
Doctrinal developments
40
Belief in a world Saviour
42
The extension of purity laws
43
Priests and worship
46
Under the Achaemenians
48
The early kings
50
Cambyses
53
Darius the Great
54
Xerxes
56
Achaemenian palaces and tombs
57
Fires and fireholders
60
The divine beings
61
Icons and temples
62
The priesthood
65
The Zurvanite heresy
67
The Zoroastrian calendar
70
The three world Saviours
74
Practices of the faith
75
The spread of Zoroasters teaching
76
Under the Seleucids and Arsacids
78
The Seleucids and Iran
79
The rise of the Parthians
80
the Kushans
83
Armenia
84
Fire temples and image shrines
85
Funerary practices
90
Developments in calendar and chronology
92
The Avesta
93
Developments in the scribal tradition
95
Human affairs
97
Unbelievers
98
Conclusion
100
Under the early Sasanians
101
Tansar a religious propagandist
102
Calendar changes
104
During the mid Sasanian period
118
The three great sacred fires
123
Liturgical reform
125
Religious literature and royal propaganda
126
Calendar reform
128
The Mazdakite movement
130
Under the later Sasanians
132
The written Avesta
134
The Pahlavi literature
136
Religious observances
138
The last years of Zoroastrian Iran
141
Conclusion
143
Under the Caliphs
145
Inducements and barriers to conversion
147
Islam takes root in Iran
150
Zoroastrians in ninthcentury Iran
152
Zoroastrians in tenthcentury Iran
156
Turkish and Mongol invasions of Iran
161
Under IlKhans Rajahs and Sultans
163
Manuscript copying and preservation
165
The Parsi founding fathers
166
Parsis in the twelfth to fourteenth centuries
168
Parsis in the fifteenth century
171
Irani Zoroastrians in the sixteenth century
175
Under the Safavids and Mughals
177
Parsis in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
182
Eighteenthcentury Parsi religious disputes
188
Irani Zoroastrians in the eighteenth century
190
The Parsi Panchayat of Bombay
192
Eighteenthcentury European studies of Zoroastnan beliefs
194
Under the Qajars and British
196
Parsi religious reforms
199
Haug and West on Zoroastrian beliefs
202
Theosophy and the Parsis
204
Zoroastrian octultism
205
Panis and the printed word
206
The Parsi practice of the faith
207
Irani Zoroastrians in the nineteenth century
209
Parsi calendar and religious reforms in the early twentieth century
212
In the twentieth century
216
Zoroastrians in modern Iran
218
Parsis in independent India and Pakistan
223
Recent interpretations of Zoroastrian belief
224
International dispersion
226
Bibliography
229
Index
237
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Mary Boyce is Professor Emerita of Iranian Studies at the University of London and is the author of a number of works on Zoroastrianism and Manicheanism.

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