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The Zoroastrian Faith: Tradition and Modern Research Paperback – 24 Sep 1993

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press (24 Sept. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 077351144X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0773511446
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,133,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"This book makes a worthy contribution to the study of world religions by offering a primer on a little known religion whose thought has influenced every major faith." Herbert Basser, Department of Religious Studies, Queen's University, Ontario "The originality of the author's contribution lies in the combination of history, scripture, and ritual. The description of the ritual practices is particularly informative and useful ... His careful sifting of the historical evidence is useful because he is dealing with issues concerning which the historical record is obscure." Sheila McDonough, Department of Religious Studies, Concordia University

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First Sentence
A tiny ethno-religious community of Zoroastrians (also known as Mazdayasnians, or Mazda-worshippers) profess to follow today the faith once propagated by their prophet, Zoroaster, who lived and taught in ancient Persia (modern Iran) sometime before the rise of the Achaemenid dynasty (ca. 550 BCE - precise dates for Zoroaster are unknown). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By TheHighlander on 9 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book offered insight into the ancient Religion and how it has affected many of the Religions today. It preceded all of the major religions that people follow today. The book offers insight into who exactly Zoroaster, the founder of the Reigion, was. Delving into the history of the Relgion itself and how the Christian's later destroyed their temples. Insight into how many of the ancient writings were lost through the years. The sad effects of Alexander The Great during his conquest and occupation upon the teachings of Zoroaster. And also sections on when the Muslims drove the Zoroastrian's out of Persia.
Also included are what is left of the Zoroastrian scriptures. The teachings that are still followed today by the few Zoroastrian's that are left. It is interesting to see the similarities with other religion's that have come after this ancient religion. Explanations on many of the scriptures, the teachings and the observances are welcome chapters to this book.
If you are interested in ancient religions this book is probably something that covers information that you already know. If you are a new student to ancient religions or know nothing about Zoroastrain faith this is a great starter place. A book that offers a lot of oversight on the ancient religion. Read it and enjoy
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
A Superb Overview 21 Nov. 2001
By Blah - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you know nothing about Zoroastrianism and are looking for a basic understanding of this unique faith then start with this book. It is concise clear and covers all major points of the faith quickly and accurately. The five chapters cover Zoroaster, history, scripture, teachings and observances. The scripture section contains outtakes from not only the fragments that we have of the Avesta but also lesser known and extremely difficult to find religious texts such as the Denkard. If you want to know about Zoroastrianism this is the place to start.
48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, fascinating summary of Zoroastrianism 13 Aug. 2003
By William Alexander - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent description of the Zoroastrian faith. It begins with Zoroaster himself, dating his lifetime most probably and providing a compelling history of the man who ultimately had a tremendous influence on Western culture far greater than he could ever imagine. I believe it safe to say that he had more influence than Jesus himself, given the fact that the Zoroastrian world-view was subsequently adopted by a large contingent of ancient Jews, including Jesus, and ultimately spread around the world by Christianity and Islam.
The history of the faith itself is then presented, along with key scriptures, teachings, and rituals. This book is excellent and truly fascinating reading. The Zoroastrian faith was far ahead of its time and represented an incredible philosophical advance in the ancient world that would have been completely foreign to most of the world's inhabitants but very familiar to you and I. The attractiveness of its beliefs could not be opposed even by the strictness of the Judaic world-view. In a remarkable way, Christianity and Islam represent the triumph of Zoroastrian ideas, and I found myself strangely saddened that this religion is near extinction. There is an inspiring grandeur to this faith as presented here.
The book is well written, absolutely fascinating, balanced, and a quick read. I recommend it highly.
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Problem of Style but Worth the Price 9 Dec. 2004
By PhiloX - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over all a fast easy read about the life & general teachings of Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) & his religion's influence on today's monotheistic faiths. S.A. Nigosian goes to great length to get the exact information from many varied sources, which at times either reveals too much information in short paragraphs or causes certain vagueness. For example the dates of Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) are from 6000 BC from some Greek sources to appox. 650-600 BC. Other problem is that I never saw such a fast rendering of the history of ancient Iran in so few pages. At times a short paragraph per King or Kingdom. Maybe a chart or map would of help to clarify this information. In another area S.A. Nigosian uses the baptism rites of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church as an example of the Zoroastrian rite without ever revealing the Zoroastrian rite itself.

Could it be that most other religious history books cut too many corners & round off the information? Maybe to write the whole truth will always reveal the imperfections of history. Other than that the book was a pure delight going through the general practices, festivals, & calendar events of ancient & modern Zoroastrianism.

There are no photographs or visual information in this book that could help reveal certain clothing or life styles of the Zoroastrian faith. In fact I did meet a Parsi (a modern Zoroastrian from Bombay India) at a Jews for Jesus table at Cal State Fullerton California around the mid 1980's & saw his shirt that contain the chords to store his good & evil deeds, but I still would like to see a photograph of a fire temple & the rites performed.

In other words I had a few problems with the style of the book, mostly due to lack of visual information, but its well worth the price if your looking for a grand overview of Zoroastrianism.
25 of 35 people found the following review helpful
The Zoroastrian Faith : Tradition and Modern Research 10 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
An interesting book, looking into how the Zoroastrian religion has influenced many modern religions. I found the book good reading and very interesting. Being a Zoroastrian, I learned how my religion has influenced so amny of the other major religions of the world. A good read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
In the right ball park! 3 Jun. 2012
By Will Jerom - Published on
Format: Hardcover
While I am hardly an expert enough on Zoroastrian to evaluate the veracity of everything S.A. Nigosian says here about Zoroastrianism, I know enough about the religion from others scholars to say that Nigosian's short book is certainly "in the right ball park." For a short book, there is an immense amount of detail about the origins, history, and evolution of the Zoroastrian religion, as well as substantial excerpts of its scriptures, and commentary on its rites, rituals, and beliefs. I think, if you are interested in a scholarly portrayal of the religion, Nigosian's short work seems to be a reliable and interesting source.
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