Zoroastrianism: An Introduction
Zoroastrianism is one of the world's great ancient religions. In present-day Iran, significant communities of Zoroastrians (who take their name from the founder of the faith, the remarkable religious reformer Zoraoster) still practice the rituals and teach the moral precepts that once undergirded the officially state-sanctioned faith of the mighty Sasanian empire. Beyond Iran, the Zoroastrian disapora is significant especially in India, where the Gujurati-speaking community of exiles from post-Sasanian Iran call themselves "Parsis." But there are also significant Zoroastrian communities to be found elsewhere, such as in the USA, Britain, and Canada, where western cultural contexts have shaped the religion in intriguing ways and directions. This new, thorough and wide-ranging introduction will appeal to anyone interested in discovering more about the faith that bequeathed the contrasting words "Magi" and "magic," and whose adherents still live according to the code of "Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds." The central Zoroastrian concept that human beings are continually faced with a choice between the path of "good" and "evil," represented by the contrasting figures of Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, inspired thinkers as diverse as Voltaire, Mozart, and Nietzsche. Jenny Rose shows why Zoroastrianism remains one of the world's most inspiring and perennially fascinating systems of ethics and belief.
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Achaemenid Ahriman Ahura Mazda amesha spentas Anahita Ancient Persians Aramaic Ardashir Armenian asha ashavan Atash Bahram Avestan texts Bombay Buddhist Bundahishn Central Asia century BCE ceremony Christian concept Cyrus dakhma Darius Dastur Denkard depicted divine dynasty early evil faith festival fire temples fire-holder fravashis gahanbar Gathas Gathic Greek Herodotus Hindu iconography India inscription Iran Iranian Iranian Zoroastrians Islam Jenny Rose Figure Jewish Kerdir Kerman Khosrow Kushan kusti late later magi Middle Persian Middle Persian texts Mihr Mithra Muslim Naqsh-e Rostam Nav Ruz offering Ohrmazd Old Persian ossuaries Panjikant Parsi Parthian Parthian period particularly Pasargadae Persepolis praxis prayers priestly priests reference relating religious ritual Rivayats rule saoshyant Sasanian Sasanian period Shah Nameh Shapur Skjaerv° Sogdian soul sources term thought tion translated Videvdad Vohu word worship Yasht Yasna yazatas Yazd Yazdegird Yima Young Avestan Zarathushtra Zoroaster Zoroastrian communities Zoroastrian religion Zurvan