Eschatology in the Indo-Iranian Traditions: The Genesis and Transformation of a Doctrine

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Peter Lang, 2008 - Religion - 258 pages
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Eschatology in the Indo-Iranian Traditions traces the roots of the belief in life after death from the earliest religious beliefs of the Indo-European people, through its first textual emergence among the Indo-Iranians. Tracing the Indo-Iranian concepts of the nature and constitution of man, with special reference to the doctrine of the Soul and its transmigration, the book demonstrates the profound nature of the physical, ethical, spiritual, and psychological ideals embodied in these thought systems as preserved in the Indian and Iranian scriptures. The central issue was death and the journey to the afterlife. Exploring the characteristic features of Indo-Iranian religions provides a better understanding of the development of eschatological beliefs in later religions in the same way that the Zoroastrian apocalyptic beliefs point to genetic historical relations among Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam. This comparative study enriches our understanding of the antecedents of afterlife beliefs and creates enthusiasm for further in-depth research into the Indo-Iranian religion as a system, acknowledging its genetic historical connections with both earlier and subsequent traditions. Eschatology in the Indo-Iranian Traditions has wide-ranging appeal to upper undergraduate and graduate courses in comparative religion, Asian studies, philosophy, and Indian and Iranian studies.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Death and Afterlife among
13
Theoretical Perspectives
41
Emergence of IndoIranians
55
Vedic Religion
83
Cosmogony and Eschatology
97
Vedic Ethical World
115
World Beyond
133
Zoroastrian Religion
153
Good and Evil
177
Last Things and Apocalypse
195
Afterword
219
Bibliography
227
Index
253
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About the author (2008)

The Author: Mitra Ara received her B.A. in religious studies, her M.A. in South Asian studies (concentrating on the religions and languages of South Asia and Iran), and her Ph.D. in Asian studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Ara currently lectures on Persian language at San Francisco State University and at the department of modern languages and literatures at California State University, East Bay, where she also lectures on Asian religions in the department of philosophy.

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