zoroastrianism Definitions


the historical (pre-islamic) indigenous beliefs and practices of the iranian peoples.

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  • see m. n. dhalla, zoroastrian theology (1914, repr. 1972) and history of zoroastrianism (1938, repr. 1963); r. c. zaehner, the dawn and twilight of zoroastrianism (1961); m. boyce, zoroastrians (1986); m. farhang, the zoroastrian tradition (1988). the manual of discipline in the dead sea scrolls is believed to reflect zoroastrian influence. see also bibliography under zoroaster. factmonster.com

  • zoroastrianism is perhaps the world's oldest monotheistic religion, founded by the persian prophet zoroaster. it is first recorded in the 500s bce, but many historians believe it was founded as early as the 900s bce. zoroastrianism became the dominant religion of the vast achaemenid empire of persia, and it continued to play an important part in the region until the ascent of islam in the 700s ce. many credit zoroastrianism with affecting the development of other major religions. zoroastrianism declined through the medieval era, and today there are fewer than 200,000 zoroastrians as of the last reputable survey. however, there are some indications that many kurds are converting to zoroastrianism, which they see as an ancestral religion, which may reverse the long declining population. infoplease.com