Zoroastrian Rituals in Context

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Rituals, it is agreed, play a prominent role in Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest continuous traditions of mankind. In this book, scholars from a broad range of disciplines make the first ever collective effort to address this issue. From a historical and geographical perspective, texts and contexts studied in these pages range from antiquity to modernity, all the way from Japan, China, India, Iran, Europe to California. The essays touch on questions of theory, ritual texts, change and performances, gender and professional religion (priesthood/lay-people). The rituals studied are placed in a broad scope of social and local settings ranging from the royal court to the needy, from the rural village to the urban metropolis, from the domestic to the public.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'…the most comprehensive work on this subject from theological, historical, artistic, archeological and ritualistic angles…In his 60 years of study of Zoroastrianism, this reviewer has never come across such a wonderful tapestry of ideas and observations about Zoroastrian rituals, woven in such an interesting and thought-provoking way.'
Kersey H. Anita, Fezana Journal, 2005.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004131316
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/2003
  • Series: Numen Book Series, #102
  • Pages: 734
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 2.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Stausberg, Dr.phil. (1995) in the history of religions, University of Bonn, is Privatdozent at Heidelberg University and Docent at Uppsala University. He is the author of Die Religion Zarathushtras (Kohlhammer, 2002) and Faszination Zarathushtra (de Gruyter, 1998).
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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Contextualizing the Contexts. On the Study of Zoroastrian Rituals 1
Sequenzierung von Riten und die Ordnung der Rituale 57
'Initiations' in Theory and in Zoroastrianism 77
Meta-Theoretical Parameters for the Analysis and Comparison of Two Recent Approaches to the Study of the Yasna 99
The Art of Ritual in a Comparative Context 137
Bruch und Kontinuitat in Todesritualen. Beobachtungen zu westeuropaischen und zoroastrischen Bestattungen 153
Zoroastrian and Taoist Ritual: Cosmology and Sacred Numerology 173
Aspects of the 'Interiorization' of the Sacrifice in the Zoroastrian Tradition 233
Smashing Urine: On Yasna 48.10 253
Les precautions rituelles et la triade du comportement 283
On the Ritual Significance of the Yasna Haptanhaiti 291
Ritual and Rituals in the Nerangestan 317
The Yasna Ritual in Pahlavi Literature 333
Sub specie maiestatis: Reflections on Sasanian Court Rituals 345
Ritual Community Meals in Ancient Iranian Religion 367
To Praise the Souls of the Deceased and the Immortal Spirits of the Righteous Ones: The Staomi or Stum Ritual's History and Functions 389
The Baj-dharna (Dron Yast) and its Place in Zoroastrian Rituals 403
Fires and the Establishment of atas bahrams in the Zoroastrian Tradition 425
The Atas nu git: A Reconstitutive Ritual of Recital 443
Prejudice vs. Reality. Zoroastrians and their Rituals as Seen by two 19th Century Italian Travellers 461
Manekji on the Religious/Ritual Practices of the Iranian Zoroastrians: An English Translation of a Passage from his Travel Report in Gujarati (1865) 481
Zarathustra der Priester und Prophet in der Lehre der Manichaer 517
Supernatural Intercession to Earthly Problems: Sofreh Rituals Among Shiite Muslims and Zoroastrians in Iran 531
"O Herr. erhore unser Monagat": Zarathustrische Traditionslinien einer persischen Gebetsgattung zwischen Indien und Iran 547
From Private Shrine to Pilgrim-Center: The Spectrum of Zoroastrian Shrines in Iran 563
Archaeological Evidence of Zoroastrian Funerary Practices 593
Kontinuitat und Wandel in den Ritualen der iranischen Zarathustrier 631
Monday-Nights at the Banaji, Fridays at the Aslaji: Ritual Efficacy and Transformation in Bombay City 653
Abstracts 719
List of Illustrations 735
Colour Plates 739
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