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wr_ch10notes

wr_ch10notes

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Published by Matt Hasquin

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Published by: Matt Hasquin on Aug 10, 2010
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08/10/2010

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CHAPTER TEN: ZOROASTRIANISMChapter Outline and Unit SummariesI.
 
Introduction
A.
 
Zoroastrianism: One of the World’s Oldest Living ReligionsB.
 
Possesses Only 250,000 Adherents, Most Living in IndiaC.
 
Zoroastrianism Important because of Influence of Zoroastrianism onChristianity, Islam, Middle Eastern History, and Western Philosophy
II.
 
Pre-Zoroastrian Persian Religion
A.
 
The
Gathas
: Hymns of Early Zoroastrianism Provide Clues to Pre-Zoroastrian Persian Religion1.
 
The
Gathas
Considered the words of Zoroaster, and areFoundation for all Later Zoroastrian Scriptures2.
 
The
Gathas
Disparage Earlier Persian ReligionsB.
 
The Aryans (Noble Ones): Nomadic Inhabitants of Ancient Persia1.
 
The
Gathas
Indicate Aryans Nature Worshippers VeneratingSeries of Deities (also mentioned in Hindu Vedic literature)a.
 
The
 Daevas
: Gods of Sun, Moon, Earth, Fire, Water  b.
 
Higher Gods, Intar the God of War, Asha the Godof Truth and Justice, Uruwana a Sky Godc.
 
Most Popular God: Mithra, Giver and Benefactor of Cattle, God of Light, Loyalty, Obedienced.
 
Mithra Survives in Zoroastrianism as Judge onJudgment Day2.
 
Aryans Worship a Supreme High God: Ahura Mazda (TheWise Lord)3.
 
Aryan Prophets / Reformers:
Saoshyants
 
III.
 
The Life of Zoroaster
A.
 
Scant Sources of Information about Zoroaster 1.
 
The
Gathas
Provide Some Clues2.
 
Greek and Roman Writers (Plato, Pliny, Plutarch) CommentB.
 
Zoroaster (born between 1400 and 1000 B.C.E.)1.
 
Original Name (Zarathustra Spitama) Indicates Birth intoWarrior Clan Connected to Royal Family of Ancient Persia2.
 
Zoroaster Becomes Priest in His Religion; the Only Founder of a World Religion to be Trained as a Priest3.
 
While Wandering and Meditating on Religious Questions,Zoroaster has Vision of Angel Vohu Mana4.
 
Message of Vohu Mana: There is Only One God, AhuraMazda (The Wise Lord) and Zoroaster Will be His Prophet5.
 
Archangels of Ahura Mazda Appear to Zoroaster for TenYears6.
 
Efforts to Convert People Fail for Ten Years, Zoroaster Considered a Heretic and Sorcerer 7.
 
Turning Point: Zoroaster and Cousin Maidhyomah Journey toBactria to Convert the Monarch Vishtaspaa.
 
Eventually Zoroaster Succeeds in ConvertingVishtaspa and All His Court and Kingdom b.
 
Zoroastrianism Spreads from Vishtaspa’s Kingdomto Lands of the Aryan People8.
 
Zoroaster Killed by Soldier at Age Seventy-Seven WhileTending the Holy Flame in the Fire Temple
IV.
 
The Teachings of Zoroaster
A.
 
The Nature of God1.
 
Central Teaching: Only One God Exists, the Creator of all,Ahura Mazda (Lord of all Wisdom)
 
a.
 
Ahura Mazda: Aryan Supreme High God b.
 
Zoroaster Declares Ahura Mazda the Sole God, Allthe Gods of Nature (
 Daevas
) Declared False Godsc.
 
Extreme Radical Monotheism: Not EvenZoroaster’s Contemporary Moses Denied theExistence of other Godsd.
 
Ahura Mazda: Invisible and Intangible2.
 
Ahura Mazda Reveals Self Through Agency of Six Modes(the
 Amesha-Spenta
, Holy Immortals)a.
 
The
 Amesha-Spenta
Less Like Angelic Beings,More Like Divine Attributes of Ahura Mazda b.
 
Because Ahura Mazda’s NatureIncommprehensible, He Comes to Humans as JustOne of the Aspects of His Naturec.
 
Ahura Mazda’s Six Immortal Attributes BalanceMale and Femaled.
 
Ahura Mazda’s Three Masculine Immortal Modes(1)
 
Asha (knowing law of God and law itself)(2)
 
Vohu-Mana (love)(3)
 
Kshathra (loving service)e.
 
Ahura Mazda’s Three Feminine Immortal Modes(1)
 
Armaiti (piety)(2)
 
Haurvatat (wholeness or perfection)(3)
 
Ameretat (immortality)3.
 
The Yazata (Adorable Ones): Hosts of Angelsa.
 
Limitless in Number, but Only Forty Named inZoroastrian Texts b.
 
Three Most Frequently Mentioned(1)
 
Sraosha, Guardian of Humanity(2)
 
Ashi Vanguhi, Sister of Sraosha, Rewarder of Good Deeds(3)
 
Mithra: Strongest Angel, Ideal of SoldiersB.
 
The God of Evil1.
 
Zoroaster’s Greatest Contribution to World Religion2.
 
Zoroastrianism is Monotheistic, Not Truly a Dualism

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