Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism (Phoenix Press) Paperback – May 1, 2003
Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Save up to 40% during Wiley's Summer Savings Event. Learn more.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Zaehner goes to the very beginning: Zoroaster himself. He dates him to the traditional, but mostly now discredited, time of about 250 years before Alexander's conquest. The evidence for this comes from a single unreliable source, and most of the evidence indicates a time between 1600 and 1300 BCE. The primary line of evidence comes from the language and manner in which the Gathas, the songs of Zoroastrianism and the Avesta, the first scriptures are written: they indicate an undeveloped pastoral culture that had not yet begun to coalesce into a dominant Persian culture. The inaccuracy is not a big deal for this work. Zoroaster's ideas were truly revolutionary, to have a most dramatic impact on history in his singular development of the binary dualism of the cosmic sphere and metaphysical reality. He claimed there was one God worthy of worship, Ahura Mazda, who had one primary adversary, Angra Mainyu, who embodied the Lie and all that was evil. These beings were primal and respectively chose, according to the true natures, good and evil before the dawn of creation.Read more ›
Author of "Walt Whitman: Shamanism, Spiritual Democracy, and the World Soul"
As the Zoroastrian scholar R. C. Zaehner (1961) tells us in his magisterial book The Rise and Fall of Zoroastrianism: the first prophet of Iran, the ancient Persian poet Zarathushtra, taught that every person is born with the freedom to choose between Good conscience and Bad conscience, the Good Mind and the Evil Mind, Right-Mindedness and Wrong-Mindedness, Truth and the Lie. From a Zoroastrian standpoint, there are two consciences within humans, as well as two wills that emanate from a pair of hostile twin Spirits, Spenta Mainyu and Angra Mainyu, the Holy Spirit and Destructive Spirit. Both Spirits are believed to have originally emanated from Ahura Mazdâh, the Wise Lord of the Gâthâs (pp. 33-50). The Gâthâs consist of five books of `hymns' or `songs' in the Avesta, a volume generally considered to have been written by Zarathushtra himself. In Zoroastrianism the twin Spirits are not one entity, they are split into a pair of warring opposites within conscience: a pair of hostile twin brothers that form an ethical dualism similar, but not identical to, the dualistic thinking of the Rig-Veda, yet unlike the oldest Hindu scriptures, Zarusthushtra thrust the dualistic conception of conscience directly into the forefront of his religious teaching (p. 40). It is a basic tenet of Zoroastrianism that sooner or later every person is faced with an ethical dilemma, a moral decision of having to choose between the two consciences. Ahura Mazda gave humans freedom to choose between the two consciences and twin wills and the Wise Lord of the Gâthâs was not exempt from having to make ethical decisions Himself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
R.C. Zaehner's "Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism" is a comprehensive, wide-ranging, but still detailed book covering exactly what the title implies: the beginning and... Read morePublished on May 16, 2013 by The Universal Geek