Zoroastrianism: An Introduction
What you'll learn
- History of Zoroastrianism
- Creation Myth in Zoroastrianism
- Biography of Zoroaster
In this course we are going to explore one of the most ancient and important religions of the world, Zoroastrianism.
Despite the small number of its followers today, Zoroastrianism has played a crucial role in the history of human thought and civilization. Many prominent historical figures, like Darius, Xerxes, Khusraw I and Khusraw II, have been followers of Zoroastrianism.
Two prominent Iranian empires, Achaemenids and Sasanians, which have played an immensely important role in the history of the Ancient and Late Antique worlds, had Zoroastrianism as their official religion. Besides that, Zoroastrianism has played a tremendous role in shaping the Iranian identity.
Zoroastrianism had also great impact on the development of religious thought. Such ideas as "Heaven and Hell", the "Evil counterpart of the God (Satan)", the "Savior at the end of times" have been an existential and inseparable part of its dogma and theology.
In this course I have tried to present and discuss some of the core aspects of the classical Zoroastrianism, like the Creation Myth, the Structure of the Universe, and the interesting biography of the founder of this religion, Zoroaster (Zarathushtra).
By completing the course, you will have a basic understanding of the main tenets of the classical Zoroastrianism (as described in the 9-11th centuries CE Zoroastrian Middle Persian literature), its place among other world-religions, its similarities with the latter, the main and reliable sources for further study, etc.
Who this course is for:
- Students of Iranian Studies
- Students of Ancient or Late Antique History
- Students of Religious Studies
- All interested in Religion
I am an MA student at the Iranian Studies Department of the Yerevan State University, specializing in Middle Persian literature and Zoroastrian religion.
I have spent years in studying Zoroastrianism, the history of Iran and Persian literature.
Recently my university published my book in Armenian, entitled "Introduction into Pahlavi studies" (2018), in which along with a summary of Zoroastrian religion and Middle Persian literature, I have presented the translation of several Middle Persian texts to the Armenian public.
I am intimately acquainted with the remarkable and ancient culture of Iran, as well as its modern developments. I have spent long time traveling in Iran, and many images you will see in the course, are my own.
My main goal in creating this course on Zoroastrianism is to help English-speaking students to learn about this ancient and admirable religion.