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Irreverence and the SacredCritical Studies in the History of Religions$
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Hugh Urban and Greg Johnson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190911966

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190911966.001.0001

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Becoming Zarathustra

Becoming Zarathustra

Chapter:
(p.185) 8 Becoming Zarathustra
Source:
Irreverence and the Sacred
Author(s):

Jean Kellens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190911966.003.0009

This chapter examines the role of ritual and sacrifice in the most sacred Zoroastrian literature, the Gâthâs in order to explore the complex relationship between the figure of Zarathustra and the human ritual officiant. The chapter presents a very Lincoln-ian sort of history of the field of Zoroastrian studies itself, interrogating the contexts and biases of particular scholars in their various readings and misreadings of the tradition. At the same time, it offers a new way of thinking about the figure of Zarathustra himself, who is best understood not as the semi-historical “founder” of Zoroastrianism but rather as the mythical personality into which the human officiant is himself transfigured through the ritual operations.

Keywords:   Chapter, ritual, Zoroastrianism, priesthood, myth, sacrifice

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