Chapter 6 “King and Saviour”: Geo Widengren’s Early Contributions (1938–1955) to the History of Iranian Religions

In: The Legacy, Life and Work of Geo Widengren and the Study of the History of Religions after World War II
Mihaela Timuş
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In the present chapter I would like to offer a brief, critical survey of some of Geo Widengren’s early writings, published between 1938 and 1955. A part of them were conceived as a sequential series under the title “King and Saviour” (henceforth KS). Here, one finds the workshop where his most influential contributions were shaped, namely those on sacral kingship and apocalyptics. On the one hand, I am interested to investigate his first contribution to the field of the history of Iranian religions, the 1938 monograph on the high gods. On the other hand, I propose to provide a fresh review of the ‘King and Saviour’ series, which follows two main lines of inquiry: the integration of the (then) newly discovered Manichaean literature and his approach to Near East kingship, with a particular focus on whether it paved the path to the understanding of Iranian kingship.

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