Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Zoroaster Outline Essays

Zoroaster Outline Essays Zoroaster Outline Essay Zoroaster Outline Essay Essay Topic: The Satanic Verses Zoroastrianism l. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion that was once widespread in the Near East and Middle East. (Molloy 438) A. It spread widely, but is now mostly present in India. (Molloy 438) B. Some see possible influence on the development of Essenes, early Christianity, and Islam. (Molloy 438) II. The prophet Zoroaster, the founder of the religion, was born about 650 BCE in what is now Iran. (Molloy 438) A. He was surrounded by the worship of nature gods, common to his area of upbringing. (Molloy 438) i. He did not believe in his religions practices of the sacrifice of animals at the fire ltars and the power of the priests. (Molloy 438) B. At age 30, Zoroaster experienced a vision which completely changed his life. (Molloy 438) i. He felt himself transported to heaven by a spirit he called Vohu Manah (good mind) into the presence of the High God Ahura Mazda (wise lord). (Molloy 438) C. Zoroasters new message was initially met with strong rejection, which he blamed on demons (daevas) and the satanic head of evil forces, Angra Mainyu (wicked spirit). (Molloy 438) i. His bitter experiences made him have further belief in good vs. evil. Molloy 438) D. Eventually Zoroasters teachings reached an Iranian King named Vishtaspa, and he used his power to spread Zoroasters new religion. (Molloy 438) Ill. Zoroastrianism has one sacred religious text, called The Avesta. (Boyce 238) A. It is supposed to be written by Zoroaster himself, and includes the seventeen Gathas (hymns), Yasna Haptanhaiti (Worship of the Seven Chapters, a short liturgy accompanying the daily act of priestly worship), and two very holy manthras. (Boyce 238) B. The entirety of The Avesta was written down in Iran, under the Sasanian ynasty, and was then a massive compilation in twenty-one books. (Boyce 238) C. Only a few copies were made, and in the destruction which later attended the Arab, Turkish, and Mongol conquests of Iran all were destroyed. (Boyce 238) D. The surviving Avesta consists of liturgies, hymns, and prayers. (Boyce 238) V. Zoroastrianism revolves around the war between good and evil, which are always present. (Hinnells 81) A. Zoroaster taught that God was the sole Good Creator of all things, of sun, moon and stars, of the spiritual and material worlds, of man and beast. Hinnells 81) B. He (Ahura Mazda) is in no way responsible for evil in the world; this comes from the Destructive Spirit (Angra Mainyu) whose nature is violent and destructive. (Hinnells) C. The world is a battleground in which the forces of good and evil do battle. (Hinnells) D. The spirit of light and good in the world is known as Spenta Mainyu (holy spirit ). (Molloy 438) V. Zoroastrianism has belief of divine Judgement and in an afterlife of reward or punishment, which begins at death. (Molloy 438) A. During life, humans are involved in a cosmic struggle between good and evil. Molloy 438) a) These good actions may consist of: telling the truth, dealing honestly with others, cultivating farmland, and treating animals kindly. (Molloy 438) B. Final Judgement begins at death when an individuals soul must cross a bridge that can lead to paradise. (Molloy 438) i. If the individual has been good, the bridge is wide and the Journey to paradise is easy; but if the individual has been evil, the bridge becomes so narrow that the soul falls deep into the depths of hell. (Molloy 438) C. There is also a belief in the end of all times. (Molloy 438) i. When the world comes to an end, there will be a resurrection of all bodies and a great general Judgement; at this time the world will be purified by fire, which will punish the evil but leave the good untouched. (Molloy 438) VI. Zoroastrianism has long been a highly ritualistic religion. (Molloy 438) A. A Zoroastrian has the duty to pray five times daily (at sunrise, noon, sunset, midnight, and dawn) in the presence of fire, the symbol of righteousness. (Boyce 247) i. He prays standing, and while uttering the appointed prayers (which include verses from he Gathas) unties and reties the kutsi. Boyce 247) a) The kutsi is a sacred cord, which should be worn constantly. (Boyce 247) B. Ceremonies at death are considered very important and have a double aim: to isolate the impurity of the dead body and give help to the soul. (Boyce 249) i. The body is wrapped into a cotton shroud and carried on an iron bier, and after due prayers by priests, to a stone tower (dakhma), where the polluting f lesh is quickly eaten by vultures and the bones are bleached by sun and wind. (Boyce 249) it. Mourners ollow the bier at a distance, two by two, and afterwards make ablutions. Boyce 249) Molloy, Michael. Zoroastrianism. Experiencing the Worlds Religions: Tradition, Challenge, and Change/ Michael Molloy. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2013. 438-439. Print. Boyce, Mary. Zoroastrianism. The Penguin Handbook of the Worlds Living Religions/ Ed. John R. Hinnells. Strand: Penguin Group, 2010. 238-249. Print Hinnells, John. The Cosmic Battle: Zoroastrianism. Eerdmans Handbook to the Worlds Religions/ Ed. R. Pierce Beaver. Herts: Lion Publishing, 1982. 80-87. Print.

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