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Journal

Zoroastrianism Special

Journal of Himalayan and Central Asian Studies, Vol 25 (1-2), 2021. Guest Editor Shernaz Cama.

The newest issue of the Journal of the Himalayan and Central Asian Studies, Vol 25 (1-2), 2021, guest-edited by Shernaz Cama is dedicated to the Zoroastrisn Studies.

Recent discoveries by international teams from varying backgrounds of academic study have found rich artistic and linguistic material along the Silk Route. So far, these discoveries remain in volumes on Zoroastrian studies. This edition of the Journal of Himalayan and Central Asian Studies brings some of these findings to a wider audience. This will help make links between multicultural concepts, oral traditions as well as iconography. These multicultural links will be taken forward to a much later colonial and post-colonial period of history when adaptation and absorbing new influences once again becomes vital to the creation of a Parsi Zoroastrian culture. It is this multiculturalism, the ability to straddle different geographies and adapt to historical circumstances, while maintaining a core essence, which has been a feature of the Zoroastrian identity throughout its long history.

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Books

Afterlives of Ancient Rock-Cut Monuments in the Near East

Ben-Dov, Jonathan & Felipe Rojas (eds.). 2021. Afterlives of ancient rock-cut monuments in the Near East. Brill.

This book concerns the ancient rock-cut monuments carved throughout the Near East, paying particular attention to the fate of these monuments in the centuries after their initial production. As parts of the landscapes in which they were carved, they acquired new meanings in the cultural memory of the people living around them. The volume joins numerous recent studies on the reception of historical texts and artefacts, exploring the peculiar affordances of these long-lasting and often salient monuments. The volume gathers articles by archeologists, art historians, and philologists, covering the entire Near East, from Iran to Lebanon and from Turkey to Egypt. It also analyzes long-lasting textual traditions that aim to explain the origins and meaning of rock-cut monuments and other related carvings.

Three chapters of this volume deals specifically Ancient Iranian rock-cut monuments:

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Books

The legacy, life and work of Geo Widengren

Larsson, Göran (ed.). 2021. The legacy, life and work of Geo Widengren and the study of the history of religions after World War II. Brill.

Professor Geo Widengren (1907–1996), holder of the chair in History of Religions and Psychology of Religions at Uppsala University between 1940 and 1973, is one of Sweden’s best-known scholars in the field of religious studies. His involvement in the start of the IAHR and publications on topics such as the phenomenology of religions, Iranian studies and Middle Eastern Religions make Widengren one of the founding fathers of the History of Religions as an academic discipline. This volume pays tribute to Widengren’s academic achievements and critically discusses his work in light of the latest academic findings and research.

Three chapters of this volume are specifically dedicated to the works and legacy of Geo Widengren regarding the Iranian Cultures, Languages and Religions:

  • Anders Hultgård: “Geo Widengren and the Study of Iranian Religion”
  • Albert de Jong: “The Eclipse of Geo Widengren in the Study of Iranian Religions”
  • Mihaela Timuş: “King and Saviour”: Geo Widengren’s Early Contributions (1938–1955) to the History of Iranian Religions

See here the table of contents of this volume.

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Books

Mani and His Religion

Taqizadeh, Seyyed Hasan. Mani e la sua religione. Translated by Simone Cristoforetti and Andrea Piras, Mimesis, 2020.

Mani and his Religion contains the text of two lectures that the well-known statesman and scholar Hasan Taqizadeh (1878-1970) gave at the Iranological Society of Tehran on 15 December 1949 and 1 February 1951, published in 1956. In addition to its importance in reconstructing the history of Manichaeism, the work testifies to the indefatigable cultural activity that Taqizadeh was able to carry out, despite his leading official positions in the politics and diplomatic representation of his country, Iran. His great courage and intellectual honesty led Taqizadeh to investigate an area – the dualistic religion of the heretic Mani – considered more than disreputable in Iran at the time, in the conviction that Mani and Manichaeism had represented one of the most important cultural phenomena in the history of late Iran and beyond. The translation proposed here is accompanied by a historical background of the author and a bibliographical update on the themes of the text.

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Books

Āẕar Kayvān: An Account of His Life, Writings and Beliefs

Goštāsb, Farzāne. Āẕar Kayvān: zendegināme, ās̱ār-o ʿaqāyed [Āẕar Kayvān: An Account of His Life, Writings and Beliefs]. Pažuhešgāh-e ʿolūm-e ensānī-o moṭāleʿāt-e farhangī, 1400 š [2021].

Āẕar-Kayvān (b. 1529 or 1533; d. 1609 or 1618) and his disciplines were founder of a sect in the 10th century which was known as “Āzarhušangiyān”. Very little is known about the historical details of his life, however, due to the attention of Āẕar-Kayvān to the Philosophy of Illuminative School (Ḥekmat-e Ešrāq) and the Ancient Iranian tradition, he is mostly identified as a Zoroastrian mystic High Priest from Fārs, who emigrated to Inida during the reign of the Emperor Akbar Shah (r. 963-1014/1556-1605) in Mughal India.

The present book is the first comprehensive monograph dedicated to the life, writings and beliefs of Āẕar-Kayvān and his followers.

For the table of contents and the author’s preface see here.

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Events

Persian Art

PERSIAN ART

THE SHIFTING OF OBJECTS, IMAGES AND IDEAS IN EARLY 20TH CENTURY CENTRAL EUROPE

The event “Persian Art” comprises three parts: A pre-workshop seminar (­Programme & Registration), the workshop (Programme & Registration) and an evening lecture on Alois Musil by Matthew Rampley.

Each is running in three different modes of participation (online, hybrid and in-person). As in-person participation remains limited, please contact the organiser Yuka Kadoi (yuka.kadoi@univie.ac.at) about available seats.

The event is one of the pioneering attempts to contextualise the historiographical background of Persian art in early twentieth-century Central Europe, while showcasing the scholarly tradition of non-Western art histories in Vienna and beyond.

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Books

Introduction to the Avesta

Kellens, Jean, and Céline Redard. 2021. Introduction à l’Avesta: Le récitatif liturgique sacré des zoroastriens. Les Belles Lettres.

Almost all religions of the contemporary world refer to a book that their followers consider sacred. The Avesta, the sacred book of the Zoroastrian communities of Iran, India and the diaspora is one of them, which bears witness to the origins of the pre-Islamic religion of the Iranian peoples.

Something, however, demands a closer look. Often approached as the theoretical expression of a religious doctrine or the mirror of a forgotten history and geography, the Avesta is also a literary engine whose mechanisms can be dismantled, that is, the precise analysis of the mode of transmission, the particularities of structure and the liturgical intentions presided over these textual assemblies.

Such is the ambition of this book, which traces the evolution of research from its origins to the advances of the 21st century, when our understanding of the Avesta was revolutionised.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Chapitre 1. Formation de la philologie avestique
  • Chapitre 2. La mise par écrit de l’Avesta
  • Chapitre 3. Le matériel manuscrit
  • Chapitre 4. Le texte transmis : l’Avesta
  • Chapitre 5. Analyse interne des textes constitutifs de l’Avesta
  • En guise de conclusion : un essai de chronologie
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Books

Iran’s Conversion to Islam

Pohl, Walter & Daniel Mahoney (eds.). 2021. Historiography and identity IV: Writing history across Medieval Eurasia. Brepols.

Explores the social function of historical writing from across various world regions from Europe through the Islamic world to China, around the turn of the millennium, and how they construct and shape identities, as well as communicate ‘visions of community’ and legitimate political claims.

Historical writing has shaped identities in various ways and to different extents. This volume explores this multiplicity by looking at case studies from Europe, Byzantium, the Islamic World, and China around the turn of the first millennium. The chapters in this volume address official histories and polemical critique, traditional genres and experimental forms, ancient traditions and emerging territories, empires and barbarians. The authors do not take the identities highlighted in the texts for granted, but examine the complex strategies of identification that they employ. This volume thus explores how historiographical works in diverse contexts construct and shape identities, as well as legitimate political claims and communicate ‘visions of community’.

Two chapters of this volume touch on subjects of Iranian studies:

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Books

The Srōš Drōn – Yasna 3 to 8

Redard, Céline. 2021. The Srōš Drōn – Yasna 3 to 8. A Critical Edition with Ritual Commentaries and Glossary (Corpus Avesticum 3). Leiden: Brill.

This book is a multi-faceted study of the Srōš Drōn, comprising chapters 3 to 8 of the Yasna ceremony, the core ritual of the Zoroastrian religion. It provides a critical edition produced with the electronic tools of the project The Multimedia Yasna, and a study of the performative aspects of the Srōš Drōn both through the lens of the ritual directions and in comparison with the Drōn Yašt ceremony.
By analysing the Srōš Drōn both as a text attested in manuscripts and as a ritual performance, Céline Redard applies a new approach to unlock the meaning of these chapters of the Yasna.

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Books

Commagene in its Local, Regional and Global Hellenistic Context

Blömer, Michael, Stefan Riedel, Miguel John Versluys & Engelbert Winter (eds.). 2021. Common dwelling place of all the gods: Commagene in its local, regional and global Hellenistic context (Oriens et Occidens Band 34). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.