Neo-Zoroastrianism.

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,113
Australia
#1
I want to use this thread to collate information and discussion about the possible emergence of new forms of Zoroastrianism.

For starters I will look at two, virtual opposite poles of expression .

1. A more traditional approach, with the adoption of a more 'orthodox' expression and continuation.

This has emerged in places like Central Asia, and more overtly in Kurdistan. Some people feel expressions of and interpretations of Islam has bought trouble, or is inappropriate or no longer appropriate for their culture .

"Zoroaster was a Kurd ! Neo-Zoroastrianism among the Iraqi Kurds "

Abstract:

Disgusted with ISIS, some Kurds turned away from Islam following the fall of Mosul in 2014. Many became atheists, while others sought comfort in Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrian-ism, according to converts, was the “original” religion of the Kurds before they embraced Islam. In 2015, two Zoroastrian centers opened in Sulaimani, both of which are recognized by the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq. Notably, neither has tried to recre-ate Zoroastrianism the way it is currently and has been historically practiced in Iran and South Asia. Instead, they have created their own versions of Zoroastrianism, which is na-tionalist, postmodern, and liberal. Kurdish Zoroastrians argue that the reason Kurds are “backward” is Islam. They seek to rectify the present situation through a Kurdish “authen-ticated” and “original” form of Zoroastrianism. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork at these two centers, the present article examines this new religious movement in Sulaimani, an important city in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. It analyses the rise and distinc-tiveness of Kurdish Zoroastrianism looking at how Zoroastrian Kurds articulate their views on Islam, women’s rights, human rights, and Kurdish independence


?Zoroaster was a Kurd!?: Neo-Zoroastrianism among the Iraqi Kurds | Edith Szanto - Academia.edu

2. A new and radical unorthodox expression, which can be highly criticized, but perhaps reveals a lot about adoption and divergence of religious beliefs.


The appropriation of a religion: The case of Zoroastrianism in contemporary Russia

Abstract


This paper distinguishes between the (ontological) creation, (historical) emergence and (legal) ‘making’ of religion. Many religions claim plausibility by invoking long chains of (invented) traditions, while some post-modern religions positively affirm their invented character. The case of Zoroastrianism in contemporary Russia is discussed as an example of a cross-cultural ‘appropriation’ of religion, rather than a transfer of an extant religion through, for example, migration.



This means that inventors, recipients and practitioners mimetically reconstruct ‘Zoroastrianism’, by adapting it to the (new) legal framework that regulates religion in Russia. Once Zoroastrianism had affirmed its presence in Russia, Zoroastrians from other parts of the world established contacts. In the course of events, Russian Zoroastrianism diversified into different tendencies (esoteric, charismatic and nativistic vs modernistic, Internet-based and international).



In addition to functioning as a separate religion, Zoroastrianism in Russia has become part of Neopagan and New Age complexes and is appropriated inter-discursively in the academy, the mass media and in different genres of fiction.


https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14755610.2013.838800


{ There is also some movement in Norway



Bozorg Bazgasht Organization )
 
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Nov 2016
687
Germany
#2
I want to use this thread to collate information and discussion about the possible emergence of new forms of Zoroastrianism.
I think at first Zoroastrism as such needs to be discussed. On this basis one could consider the circumstances of the emergence of Neo-Zoroastrism in Russia and in Iraq, whereby the Iraki version seems to be a more traditional form of Zoroastrism while the Russian version partly tends to mingle the traditional belief in a syncretistical or New Age manner with other spiritual concepts.

For now, I´ll consider these points only briefly.

1)
Zoroastrism teaches a dualism on two levels, a cosmic and a moral one. Cosmically, two mighty powers, Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, contend for command over the universe, Ahura Mazda standing for the good and light, Ahriman for the evil and dark. One day this fight will be decided in a monstrous final battle. Now, the moral attitude of humans will contribute to the result of this battle in the sense that the more humans achieve moral purity and goodness, the more Ahura Mazda will be strenghtened in his struggle for victory, and the more humans are attached to evil attitudes, the better are Ahriman´s chances for conquering the world. After Ahura Mazda´s victory he will judge all souls according to their moral quality and send them to paradise or hell, the latter in early Zoroastrism being a place of eternal pains, in later Zoroastrism of timely limited pains.

Now, this is, from a modern point of view, surely an outdated ideology, shaped by the social and psychological conditions of the time of Zarathustra. However, it is in sum more liberal and constructive than Islam, for the individual is not a fearful slave of a god, like in Islam, but is a responsible helper of the good god in his struggle against the evil super-demon Ahriman. Moreover, women are more esteemed in Zoroastrism than in Islam.

2)
The Kurdish Zoroastrian movement seems to be motivated simply by the disgust of Islam. It is the nearest solution for escaping an oppressive ideology, thus being a sort of emergency exit.

The Russian Zoroastrism movement developed more freely and seems even to be supported by the Russian dictator Putin, so it is not the result of external pressure. For discussing it in detail one should have more information.
 
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Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,375
New Delhi, India
#3
I wish the best to the religion of my brother Aryans, though it is a little different from what I practice. Zoroaster was an Athravan (Atharva Veda is known after him). Sage Atharva/Athravan is supposed to have brought fire to men. Vedas mention him as father of the Aryans. :D
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,113
Australia
#4
I think at first Zoroastrism as such needs to be discussed. On this basis one could consider the circumstances of the emergence of Neo-Zoroastrism in Russia and in Iraq, whereby the Iraki version seems to be a more traditional form of Zoroastrism while the Russian version partly tends to mingle the traditional belief in a syncretistical or New Age manner with other spiritual concepts.
Yes, I put them up as 'dipolar' examples .
For now, I´ll consider these points only briefly.

1)
Zoroastrism teaches a dualism on two levels, a cosmic and a moral one. Cosmically, two mighty powers, Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, contend for command over the universe, Ahura Mazda standing for the good and light, Ahriman for the evil and dark. One day this fight will be decided in a monstrous final battle. Now, the moral attitude of humans will contribute to the result of this battle in the sense that the more humans achieve moral purity and goodness, the more Ahura Mazda will be strenghtened in his struggle for victory, and the more humans are attached to evil attitudes, the better are Ahriman´s chances for conquering the world. After Ahura Mazda´s victory he will judge all souls according to their moral quality and send them to paradise or hell, the latter in early Zoroastrism being a place of eternal pains, in later Zoroastrism of timely limited pains.

Now, this is, from a modern point of view, surely an outdated ideology, shaped by the social and psychological conditions of the time of Zarathustra. However, it is in sum more liberal and constructive than Islam, for the individual is not a fearful slave of a god, like in Islam, but is a responsible helper of the good god in his struggle against the evil super-demon Ahriman. Moreover, women are more esteemed in Zoroastrism than in Islam.
Well, a LOT more can be said than that . Thus thread was kinda a spinoff from another discussion where we do have a more indepth understanding of Zoroastrianism, so that is a precursor .

For example ; was the original form so personified or was 'Ahriman' added later. Was the original form based on the duality of "mind set " ..... 'mainyu' ? WE have had discussions on that . If so, then it is about correct mind, not a fairy tale of 'good and bad' which are philosophically culturally based. WE can see this in their old writings; anything a threat to their social set up was seen to be 'evil' , anything that helped it was 'good' . And what things help cultivate this 'good nature' ?

IMO a great form of 'Neo-Zoroastrianism' could be developed on these principles .... to make the 'outdated' ideology relevant, for a wide range of people.
2)
The Kurdish Zoroastrian movement seems to be motivated simply by the disgust of Islam. It is the nearest solution for escaping an oppressive ideology, thus being a sort of emergency exit.
Yes, that is a big part of it. Also Kurds have other religious roots that are seen as 'Satanic' by some fundies .
The Russian Zoroastrism movement developed more freely and seems to be supported by the Russian dictator Putin, so it is not the result of external pressure. For discussing it in detail one should have more information.
Discussion is supposed to reveal more info IMO
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,375
New Delhi, India
#5
A funny post in Reddit:
".. as many non Parsis were converting in india."
https://www.reddit.com/r/iran/comments/43pnxj/yes_you_can_revert_back_to_zoroastrianism/

Never heard of even one non-Parsi wanting to convert to Zoroastrianism in India, whether Hindu or Muslim. But then Reddit is Reddit. It could be true if someone was infatuated with a Parsi girl and wanted to marry her (that is not allowed among Parsis). It is said (without not much proof) that an ancestor of Gandhi family (Indira Gandhi's family and not Mahatma Gandhi's) had converted from Islam to Zoroastrianism to marry a Zoroastrian girl. The children of a Parsi girl who marries outside the religion may be accepted by some as Parsis.

Wikipedia mentions Traditionalists, Modern and Progressive. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism#Modern Also Ilm-e-Kshnoom (a reclusive sect), Kadmi and Shahenshahis (Due to calendar differences). All that in a population of 57,264 in India. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsi

Facebook has a page on Neo-Zoroastrianism: https://www.facebook.com/Neo-Zoroastrianism-261315837224353/
 
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Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,429
India
#6
Neo-Zoroastrianism seems something interesting. The population of Zoroastrians in India is falling and the main reason is their urban way of life and living in expensive city like Mumbai and marrying late. Zoroastrians migrated to India in two waves first they came in 7th century after the Arab conquest of Iran and secondly during Qajar persecution of Zoroastrians during 18th century.
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,429
India
#7
It is said (without not much proof) that an ancestor of Gandhi family (Indira Gandhi's family and not Mahatma Gandhi's) had converted from Islam to Zoroastrianism to marry a Zoroastrian girl. The children of a Parsi girl who marries outside the religion may be accepted by some as Parsis.
This is false, Firoze Faredoon Gandhi was a Parsi from his entire family. Parsi tradition only consider son or daughter of a Parsi man as Zoroastrian, the kid of a non-Parsi man and a Parsi woman are not considered as Zoroastrians.
 

antocya

Ad Honorem
May 2012
5,755
Iraq
#8
I’ve met some converts to the Zoroastrian religion in Sulaimani in Kurdistan and passed by one of those centers before. It was in some residential neighborhood and would have been hard to find on purpose I think. I got the impression from the people I met that they became Zoroastrian for nationalist reasons and didn’t know a lot about it and maybe that’s unfair of me. I do think when people convert and it’s not out of religious devotion it makes things more difficult.
 
May 2017
1,201
Syria
#10
Is there any reason of actual integration of the Zoroastrian creed in their minds? This seems more Nationalistic/Traditional than religious.
It just falls in line with the rest of claims commonly occurring on the tongues of Kurdish nationalists. Same with their claimed descent from the Medes, their newfound association with Zoroastrianism is just to continue building their national identity and to keep it as separate as possible from their neighbors.
 

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