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REL 1020 Zoroastrianism

by: jschric

REL 1020 Zoroastrianism REL 1020

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About this Document

Zoroastrianism, 9/27. Test 2.
World Religions
Brett Patterson
Class Notes
into to world religions, Clemson, rel, 1020
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by jschric on Wednesday September 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to REL 1020 at Clemson University taught by Brett Patterson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see World Religions in Religion at Clemson University.

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Date Created: 09/28/16
Zoroastrianism Origins • Zarathustra  (greek:  zoroaster)  three  millenia  ago • Central  teaching  of  dualism:  the  ongoing  opposition  between  the  forces  of   order  (good)  and  chaos  (bad) • Live  mainly  in  India,  Mumbai,  and  Iran Background • The  Indo-­‐Iranians • Iranian  Peoples  and  languages ○ Older  and  Younger  Avesta  (first  of  sacred  writings) ○ Old  Persian ○ Middle  Persian  (Pahlavi) Pre-­‐Zoroastrian  Religion • Affinities  with  Vedic  (Hindu)  religion • Daevas-­‐cause  trouble,  "demons",  evil  forces • Ashuras-­‐lord,  forces  of  order • Asha  and  the  Struggle  against  Chaos Zarathustra • Estimates  of  life  vary  widely  f550  BCE-­‐0 • Lives  privileged  life,  gets  married,  has  family • Age  20,  goes  out  on  own • Age  30,  revelatory  visions  from  Ahura  Mazda:  cosmic  battle ○ Taken  up  into  heavenly  court ○ Ahura  Mazda:  supreme  god  in  visio   • New  Teachings  of  Zarathustra:  morality  over  sacrifices • Scriptures: ○ Avesta:  liturgy,  hymns,  Z's  life,  strategies  to  oppose  daevas,  creation   story,  prayers ○ Denkard  and  Bundahishn • Ultimately:  live  good  moral  life,  we  will  be  judged  for  how  we  lived History:   550-­‐330  BCE • Persian  empire ○ Herodotus  (Greek  Historian)  gave  account ○ Achaemenid  Dynasty  of  Persia  (Paris) ○ Darius  1  (reigh:-­‐485  BCE)  accredited  his  power  to  Ahura  Mazda ○ Magi  (Persian  priests)  had  power 550-­‐330  BCE • Persian  empire Herodotus  (Greek  Historian)  gave  account ○ ○ Achaemenid  Dynasty  of  Persia  (Paris) ○ Darius  1  (reigh:-­‐485  BCE)  accredited  his  power  to  Ahura  Mazda ○ Magi  (Persian  priests)  had  power ○ Fell  to  Alexander  the  Great 247BCE-­‐224CE • Pathian  Empire ○ A  resurgence  of  Persian  after  the  conquest  of  Alexander  the  Great  in  330 ○ Blending  of  Iranian  and  Greek  deities ○ Less  support  for  Zoroastrianism 224-­‐651  CE • Sassanid  Empire   ○ Last  Persian  empire  before  the  arrival  of  Islam ○ Zoroastrianism  as  the  state  religion ○ Zurvanite  Zoroastrianism   § High  god  Zirvan:  Ahura  Mazda  and  Angra  Mainyu  (evil)  as  twins • Arab  Rule  (651  onward) ○ Zoroastrians  win  and  lose  status  as  a  "People  of  the  Book" ○ Persecution  and  marginalization:  conversions  to  Islam References  in  Modern  Period • Raphael  (painter):  The  School  of  Athens • Voltaire:  rationalism • Mozart:  The  Magic  Flute • Nietzsche:  Also  Sprach  Zarathustra • Population  Declining  in  World  Today ○ India  (Parsis):  Mumbai,  Iran  (Iranis  and  Zarathrushtis) Smaller  numbers  in  Great  Britain,  Australia,  Pakistan,  Singapore,  and   ○ Hong  Kong Foundation:  Cosmic  Dualism • Order  and  Chaos ○ Order  (asha)  opposes  "the  Lie"  (duja) • Spirit  and  Matter ○ The  dualism  of  spirit  and  matter  correlates  to  the  dualism  of  order  and   chaos The  Divine  Realm • Ahura  Mazda • Divine  Forces  of  Good ○ The  seven  Amesha  Spentas  (chief:  Spenta  Mainyu,  Ahura  Mazda's  spirit)   § Function  as  servant  forces,  assisted  by  many  deities  (yazatas) • The  Forces  of  Evil  (The  Lie) ○ Angra  Mainyu  (The  Foul  Spirit)  and  the  demonic  powers  (daevas) The  Created  World • Divine  Forces  of  Good ○ The  seven  Amesha  Spentas  (chief:  Spenta  Mainyu,  Ahura  Mazda's  spirit)   § Function  as  servant  forces,  assisted  by  many  deities  (yazatas) • The  Forces  of  Evil  (The  Lie) ○ Angra  Mainyu  (The  Foul  Spirit)  and  the  demonic  powers  (daevas) The  Created  World • Three  phases: 1. Creation  of  the  physical  world 2. Mixing  in  physical  world  of  evil  and  good  forces 3. The  final  cleansing  of  world  from  evil  forces • Creation  myth:  Ahura  Mazda  secured  support  of  pre-­‐existing  guardian  spirits  of   human  beings Human  Nature  and  Destiny • Dualism  in  Human  Life:  Ethical  Choice ○ Human  beings  are  free  to  choose  to  live  in  harmony  with  cosmic  order   (asha)  or  give  into  the  Lie  (druj) • Judgment  of  the  Soul ○ After  death  the  soul  will  meet  the  Daena  and  cross  Chinvat  Bridge § Bridge:  takes  form  based  off  of  what  kind  of  life  you  live • The  Final  Triumph:  Human  beings  play  a  part  in  cosmic  struggle ○ The  combined  efforts  of  each  individual's  work  will  eventually  overcome   evil Way  of  Life • Ethical  Responsibilities:  "Good  thoughts,  good  words,  and  good  deeds" • Prayer  (5  times  a  day),  Kusti  Ritual  (tying  and  untying  cord),  purification  by   water • Worship  in  temples  (kitchens,  ceremonial  rooms,  and  fire  chamber  (kept   constantly  lit)) • Dead  people:  not  cremated/buried  bc  sacred  (fire/earth) Rituals  and  Holy  Days • Sacred  Fire • Priests • Rites  of  Passage:  including  the  investiture  ceremony  (Navjote  in  India,  Sudre-­‐h Pooshi  in  Iran) • Calendar  with  Holy  Days  (7,  most  popular  is  Nowruz  (new  year/fire)) • Funeral  Rites:  vultures/tower  of  silence  to  ensure  purity


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