This work is an excellent, concise history of the development of the Zoroastrian religion. Special attention is given to the historical development of the religion from monotheism to a dualistic system, with particular emphasis on ethical and eschatological teachings.
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This work is an excellent, concise history of the development of the Zoroastrian religion. A history of the Aryan peoples and the Medo-Persian Empire provides the setting for the advent of Zoroastrianism, spurred on by its charismatic leader Zoroaster, the myths and history concerning whom are ably analyzed herein. The Gathas provide insight into earliest Zoroastrian belief and practice, while the Sassanian Avesta and Zoroastrian Pahlavi literature provide evidence of the historical evolution of this religion. Professor Moore’s thesis is that the religion was monotheistic in its origins, but moved toward polytheism as it was adopted by the ruling class and their subjects, developing into a distinct dualism. Special attention is also given to the ethical and eschatological teachings of Zoroastrian literature and their demonstration in ritual.
George Foot Moore (1851-1931) was born in West Chester, PA. He graduated from Yale with an A.B. in 1872, and from Union Theological Seminary in 1877. Ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1878, he served a parish in Zainesville, OH from then until 1883, at which time he took a teaching post in Hebrew at the Andover Theological Seminary. From 1902 until 1928 Moore was a Harvard professor. Among his professional roles Moore was sometime president of the American Oriental Society, for whose journal he also served as editor, a duty he carried for the Harvard Theological Review as well. His breadth of knowledge was practically legendary and notable publications include his The Literature of the Old Testament, History of Religions, and Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era.