Laws of Ritual Purity

Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād)


Laws of Ritual Purity: Zand ī Fragard ī Jud-Dēw-Dād (A Commentary on the Chapters of the Widēwdād) describes the various ways in which Zoroastrian authorities in the fifth-sixth centuries CE reinterpreted the purity laws of their community. Its redactor(s), conversant with the notions and practices of purity and impurity as developed by their predecessors, attempt(s) to determine the parameters of the various categories of pollution, the minimum measures of polluted substances, and the effect of the interaction of pollution with other substances that are important to humans. It is therefore in essence a technical legal corpus designed to provide a comprehensive picture of a central aspect of Zoroastrian ritual life: the extent of one’s liability contracting pollution and how atonement/purification can be achieved.

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Mahnaz Moazami, Ph.D. (1995, Sorbonne-France), is an Associate Research Scholar at Columbia University in the City of New York. The main focus of her research is on the history of Ancient and Late Antique Iran. Her publications include Wrestling with the Demons of the Pahlavi Widēwdād (2014), an important source for the study of Zoroastrian beliefs and literature.
“Mahnaz Moazami has expended in editing and translating this text, a pioneering attempt in making this long-neglected text accessible to students of Zoroastrianism. In evaluating any such work, one must always bear in mind the statement found in ZFJ: [TD2 451:10-11] az ān ī ka petyārag ō dām mad andar gētīg ēč tis ī abēzag būdan kardan nē šāyēd“since the adversary came to the creation, nothing (and no one) could be pure nor could anything pure (perfect) be done in the material world!” It is hoped that her promise in complementing this edition with a detailed commentary will be fulfilled in the near future.”
- Kiyan Foroutan, Leiden University in: Bibliotheca Orientalis , LXXIX N° 1-2, (2022).
Readers interested in legal and cultural traditions of the Sasanian period and Zoroastrian studies, fifth-and sixth century Zoroastrian intellectual history, anthropologists, and scholars of comparative religions.
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