The body and the boundaries of Zoroastrian spirituality

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    In this paper I offer some introductory reflections on the body in the structure of Zoroastrian thought, based upon the evidence of Avestan and Middle Persian sources. In Zoroastrianism the forces of good and evil in the world are regarded as palpable and actual: the good, divine creation is spiritually conceived and physically embodied, and, without any sense of 'materialism', the physical elements are held as sacred; evil is, so to speak, the anti-body, since it has of itself no physical, only a parasitic, destructive presence in the world. The physical, ethical, social, environmental and spiritual domains of existence are strictly delineated, and a pattern seems to emerge from the texts. Sociological thinking has recently sought to explain such drawing of boundaries with regard to the body and society, and to this the very distinctive evidence of the old Iranian tradition should be added. © 1989.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)227-239
    Number of pages12
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1989


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