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The book includes seven studies that use historiographical and philological methods to explore the historical and religious aspects of Zoroastrian cosmogony and eschatology. It undertakes a close reading of Middle Persian literature to identify and illustrate specific aspects of this religious system, such as the symmetry between the beginning and the end of the world. The author reads the historiography of Iranian studies, paying special attention to the French scholarship on this topic, in order to show how the modern history of religions transformed Christian theological concepts in its analysis of the Zoroastrian religion. The Addenda include several unpublished documents, relevant for the history of Zoroastrian studies in France.
The volume edited by Kioanoosh Rezania brings together seventeen articles by Philip Kreyenbroek on the subject of Zoroastrianism. The collection represents the author’s most important short contributions on that subject, written over a period of more than 30 years. Although the papers are concerned with a range of different subjects, they are to some extent interconnected, and in several cases one may find lines of argument emerging in one article which the author develops in subsequent papers.
The papers cover six important aspects of Zoroastrianism: History; the Zoroastrian tradition and its oral transmission; Cosmology, Cosmogony and Eschatology; Priesthood; and Ritual. Topics discussed there include the history of the Zoroastrian tradition in various periods; the mainly oral nature of the Zoroastrian religious tradition until well into the Islamic period, and some of the implications of this for our understanding of that tradition; Kreyenbroek’s views and hypotheses on the nature and origin of the Indo-Iranian and Zoroastrian cosmogonies; the various developments in the structure of the priesthood, particularly during and after the Sasanian period; and lastly various questions concerning the Zoroastrian ritual, which are informed by the author’s extraordinary familiarity with the Zoroastrian ritual literature.