Die Arier

An interesting ZDF documentary about racist ideologies in Germany. 35 minutes into the documentary Josef Wiesehöfer is interviewed about the term ‘Arier’ followed by interviews  with people in Abyaneh, presumably because they are believed to be Zoroastrians! The journey to Iran ends with a few shots at Naqš-e Rostam .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coGf0vrDLH8

Learning from the Magi

Religious Studies presents: “Learning from the Magi: Zoroastrianism and the New Movement in Talmud Study” with Shai Secunda | Taube Center for Jewish Studies

Friday, May 15, 2015 – 12:15pm1:30pm

The lecture is part of a Zoroastrianism Studies Lecture Series sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, Stanford University. For questions about the series, please contact Dr. Yuhan Vevaina (vevaina@stanford.edu).

Source: Religious Studies presents: “Learning from the Magi: Zoroastrianism and the New Movement in Talmud Study” with Shai Secunda | Taube Center for Jewish Studies

Zoroastrianism in India

Parsi Mumbai: The legacy of Zoroastrianism in India’s urban babric, published by the Ajam Media Collective, is a nicely written piece on Parsis in India, documented with many photos. Although Cafe Mondegar is not mentioned, the publication of the article coincides with the news that Mondegar might face eviction.

Ohrmazd’s better judgement

Agostini, Domenico, Eva Kiesele & Shai Secunda. 2014. Ohrmazd’s better judgement (meh-dādestānīh). A Middle Persian legal and theological discourse. Studia Iranica 43(2). 177–202.

This article presents a transcription, translation, commentary, and discussion of a ritual and theological passage taken from the long-neglected Middle Persian work, the Zand ī fragard ī Jud-dēw-dād. The selection is notable for the way it mixes theological and ritual forms of discourse while considering situations in which impure or Evil things, like corpses, wolves, and sins, naturally come into contact with pure and Good elements, like water, fire, and good deeds. Along with explaining this rich text and its various textual parallels, the article considers the potential research value of the Zand ī fragard ī Jud-dēw-dād for Iranists and scholars of late antique religious literature.

The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism

The long awaited Wiley-Blackwell companion to Zoroastrianism, edited by M. Stausberg and Y. Vevaina, is finally out. I have not seen the volume myself, but those who have, praise it highly, expecting it to have an impact on the ailing field of Iranian and Zoroastrian Studies. One expects nothing less from the editors and the contributing scholars.

Stausberg, Michael & Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina (eds.). 2015. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism. John Wiley & Sons.
This is the first ever comprehensive English-language survey of Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest living religions

  • Evenly divided into five thematic sections beginning with an introduction to Zoroaster/Zarathustra and concluding with the intersections of Zoroastrianism and other religions
  • Reflects the global nature of Zoroastrian studies with contributions from 34 international authorities from 10 countries
  • Presents Zoroastrianism as a cluster of dynamic historical and contextualized phenomena, reflecting the current trend to move away from textual essentialism in the study of religion
The eBook version of the companion can be purchased here.

 

Vers une édition de la liturgie longue zoroastrienne

03_J2_YH35Cantera, Alberto. 2014. Vers une édition de la liturgie longue zoroastrienne: Pensées et travaux préliminaires (Cahiers de Studia Iranica 51). Peeters Publishers.

The long liturgy is the most important ceremony in Zoroastrian priestly tradition. Most extant Avestan texts have been composed for their performance within this liturgy. It is highly likely that it acquired its current form, in which it is still celebrated, during the Achaemenid period or even earlier. Like any living ceremony with a long history, it has several synchronic and diachronic variations. Nevertheless, current editions of the Avestan text recited in the liturgy do not take into account its ritual nature, synchronic variations or its evolution over time, or even the changes in the way the text itself is recited. The aim of this book is to report on the recent discoveries that raise doubts over the methodology used in current editions, and propose certain alternatives in order to further the debate.

Religious transformation between East and West

Herman, Geoffrey. 2014. Religious transformation between East and West: Hanukkah in the Babylonian Talmud and Zoroastrianism. In Wick, Peter & Volker Rabens (eds.), Religions and trade: Religious formation, transformation and cross-cultural exchange between East and West, 261–281. Leiden: Brill.

When religious traditions travel they tend to adapt to their new surroundings. Like new products seeking to penetrate a foreign market, they often undergo a process of modification and re-packaging that makes them comprehensible and inviting to their potential clientele. This can often be a subconscious process whereby the elements in the imported tradition that evoke more familiar local practices rise to prominence and develop further whereas others sink into the background. This article seeks to account for the development of the ritual observance of the festival of Hanukah, a festival that was brought from Judaea to Babylonia. It pinpoints the holiday’s evolution upon its reception in Babylonia. Observing similarities in ritual between the receiving community – Babylonian Jewry, and the prevalent practices found among the Zoroastrians of the region it suggests a connection between the two. This connection intimates that the ritual celebration of Hanukkah was radically and fundamentally transformed in its new religious environment as a result of its encounter with local religious custom.

Find the article here.

Repetitions of the Ahuna Vairiia

Cantera, Alberto. 2014. Repetitions of the Ahuna Vairiia and animal sacrifice in the Zoroastrian long liturgy. Estudios Iranios y Turanios 1. 25–29.

The Ahuna Vairiia prayer is never repeated three times in extant Avestan texts and also the Pahlavi literature excludes this number of repetitions. This is because three repetitions of the Ahuna Vairiia is the Avestan text used for the very centre of the Zoroastrian long liturgy: the slaughter of the sacrificial victim and the meat offerings to the fire. Here again, we discover the central importance of the sacrifice when the Avestan texts used in the long and short liturgies got their current shape. Further, it is shown a ritual parallelism between the slaughter of the victim and the pounding of the haōma.

The PDF of the article is here.