Textual Sources for the Study of Zoroastrianism

Front Cover
Mary Boyce
University of Chicago Press, Oct 15, 1990 - Religion - 166 pages
4 Reviews
"Boyce is a, perhaps the, world authority on Zoroastrianism. . . . Prefaced by a 27-page introduction, this anthology contains selections which offer a complete picture of Zoroastrian belief, worship and practice. There are historical texts from the sixth century B.C. onwards, and extracts from modern Zoroastrian writings representing traditionalism, occultism and reformist opinion. Anyone wishing to know more about this 'least well known of the world religions' should sample these selections."—The Methodist Church

"Wide-ranging. . . . An indispensable one-volume collection of primary materials."—William R. Darrow, Religious Studies Review
  

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This is a book of highly selected translations. Three of the books, mentioned at the end are for the casual reader. ...___... And below, ++ IN SEARCH OF ... ++ reports that the first western Avesta translation was 3 full volumes. ...____... This reviewer is very grateful for Chapter 10 et.seq. -- HISTORICAL TEXTS-- : It has translations of texts by Darius the Great; Xerxes and others. They are explicit and are literally carved in stone on mountain sides. .. Also ch. 10 has surviving Greek texts. These are from: The historian Herodotus; Xenophon;; a soldier in the Persian army;; ... And the Alcibiades. All of which give a Greek perspective to religion in Persia before 300 BCE. Later material from Plutarch 60 CE and on into the 18th century fill out later translations. ..._________... The FORWARD gives a small perspective. ...___...TEXTURAL SOURCES launches the reader. ...___... The MAIN TEXT is near-literal translations from tiny portions of the Gathas and the Avesta and is heavy going. There is no single arrow of time here. ..... There is no intent to follow the metaphoric line of Stephen Mitchell in his beautiful and lyrical ++ THE BOOK OF JOB ++ ISBN:0060969598 ....__..._____..... For the general reader: ...___... ++ STRANGE BIRDS from ZOROASTERs NEST ++ ISBN:1586840312 gives one a panorama of comparative religions. ...___... ++ IN SEARCH OF ZARATHUSTRA ++ ISBN:1-4000-3142-7 uses a skeleton in space, of a car trip through Europe on into Asia. The companion skeleton in time is back through time, from Nietzsche back through Cathars and - The-Great-Heresy --- to Cyrus the Great. ..._____.. ++ DAWN and TWILIGHT of ZOROASTRIANISM ++ Lib Congress: 61-8353 gives the religion and its variations as a sweep through time and does it with great clarity. ..___.. For the reader who wants comparative history as history, and has time, Boyce has the 3 volume set: ++ A HISTORY OF ZOROASTRIANISM ++ ISBN: 9004088474; 9789004065062 and 9004092714. They set the standard. These 3 have clear introductions and cover: Time before Cyrus 550BCE; Time before Alexander 330BCE; And time up to the Council of Nicea 325 CE.  

Review: Textual Sources for the Study of Zoroastrianism

User Review  - Stacey L. Douglas - Goodreads

Good resource and selection of primary readings on various aspects of Zoroastrianism. Boyce offers a fresh translation of the texts selected and provides corrections to them as well as to the timeline ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
12 The religious background to Zoroastrianism
8
13 Zarathushtra and his teachings
11
14 Some reasons for diversity in modern studies of Zoroastrianism
15
I
16
16 The seven holy days of obligation
18
17 The Zoroastrian calendar
19
18 The Zoroastrian world year
20
The fate of the soul at death and a vision of heaven and hell
80
62 A vision of heaven and hell from Pahlavi sources
82
63 A vision of heaven and hell from Arda Viraz Namag
84
Apocalyptic
90
73 On the seven ages of the world and the coming of the Saviour
91
74 On Yimas Var from Vendidad 2
94
A Zoroastrian heresy Zurvanism
96
82 Versions of the myth of Zurvan and his twin sons
97

19 Chronological background to the texts
22
Tradition and doctrine
27
22 Verses from the Gathas
34
23 Passages from the Zand of lost Avestan texts
45
Worship prayer and confession
53
32 Passages from the yasna liturgy accompanying the preparation of the haoma offering
55
33 The four great prayers
56
34 The creed Fravarane
57
35 The kusti prayers
58
36 The Hamazor
59
38 From a general confession Patet I Khwad
60
Rules and confession
61
42 Concerning human nasa and the proper disposal of the dead
64
43 On taking the baj
66
44 Festivals
67
The life and legend of Zarathushtra
71
52 Passages from the Zand of lost Avestan texts
72
53 Kavi Vishtapa and the early wars of the faith
77
Dogmatic passages from ninthcentury Pahlavi books
99
92 From Shkandguamanig Vizar the Doubtdispelling Exposition
101
Historical texts
104
102 From the Parthian period
108
103 From the Sasanian period
109
104 Passages concerning the Arab conquest and the early centuries of Islam
115
105 Concerning the Irani and Parsi communities fifteenth to eighteenth centuries AC
117
106 From the reports of Europeans seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
123
The faith in modern times the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
132
112 Passages from Parsi theological writings
135
113 Writings by moderate and radical reformists
139
114 Tradition in belief and practice
144
115 Matters of controversy
153
116 restatement and reappraisal
157
Bibliography
161
Glossarial Index
165
Copyright

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Page 168 - Studies at the University of London. John R. Hinnells is professor of comparative religion in the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He is the author of Handbook of Living Religions and editor of the Penguin Dictionary of Religions. Cover illustration: David McLimans The University of Chicago Press ISBN

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About the author (1990)

Mary Boyce is Emeritus Professor of Iranian Studies at the University of London. John R. Hinnells is professor of comparative religion in the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He is the author of Handbook of Living Religions and editor of the Penguin Dictionary of Religions.

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