Cosmogonic Sacrifice

A Ghost Zoroastrian Doctrine

in Indo-Iranian Journal
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A number of prominent scholars of Zoroastrianism have recently taken up Marijan Molé’s thesis that Ahura Mazdā created the world by way of a sacrifice. This article examines the sources that have been adduced for the thesis. It concludes that neither in Avestan nor Pahlavi texts do we find any evidence for the supposed cosmogonic sacrifice.

Cosmogonic Sacrifice

A Ghost Zoroastrian Doctrine

in Indo-Iranian Journal

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References

1

Marijan Molé (1963) 125.

2

Jean Kellens (1994) 10.

3

See Alberto Cantera (2013a) 43; (2013b) 107; (2016) 157.

4

Marijan Molé (1963) 125.

5

Marijan Molé (1963) 132–139.

6

Marijan Molé (1963) 132.

9

Marijan Molé (1963) 126.

13

Robert C. Zaehner (1972) 324.

14

Robert C. Zaehner (1972) 336. Unlike the fravašibōy or δ which Zaehner translates with ‘consciousness’ is not an unambiguously immortal component of the human person in Zoroastrian Pahlavi literature. It is the messenger between the (immortal) ruwān and the (biological) gyān and tied to the senses. Thus its apparent presence in the primordial scene may be problematic.

15

Prods O. Skjærvø (2007) 57–58. The translation of the text as he gives it is problematic which shows that the text is unreliable. In Pahlavi mēnōg very rarely means ‘in the world of thought’; and in the first four books of the Bundahišn that I checked it never does where either the adverb mēnōgīhā or the adverbial phrase andar mēnōgīh or pad mēnōg(īh) is used. See also Prods O. Skjærvø (2013) 313–314.

16

Fazlollah Pakzad (2005) 52–53.

17

See Fazlollah Pakzad (2005) 25: Ohrmaz pad dām-dahišnīh mādarīh ud pidarīh ī dahišn ast čē ka-š dām pad mēnōg parward ān būd mādarīh ka-š be ō gētīg dād ān būd pidarīh.

18

See Amir Ahmadi (2013).

20

Fazlollah Pakzad (2005) 14–15.

22

Fazlollah Pakzad (2005) 26.

24

Fazlollah Pakzad (2005) 21. Although the syntax of the relative clause (kē-š bundahišnīh ud frazām ī dām aziš paydāgīhēd dēn) is somewhat convoluted it is analyzable and its meaning is clear. The relative clause contains a parenthetical clause. refers to the formula and not the ‘spirit’; the enclitic possessive refers to the ‘spirit’ taken up by aziš ‘by whom’ in the nested clause.

25

See Amir Ahmadi (2013) for elaboration.

28

Cf. Antonio Panaino (2016).

29

Alberto Cantera (2016) 148.

30

Marijan Molé (1963) 143. Cf. Prods O. Skjærvø (2007) 64–83; Alberto Cantera (2013b) 107–108.

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