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14793Re: [ANE-2] Zoroastrianism and its influence on Jewish thought

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  • Graham Hagens
    Mar 17, 2013
      Thank you Judith for this help
      By the phrase 'Judeo-Christian ...thinking' I had in mind the pre-Talmudic fusion of concepts during the last couple of centuries BCE which so influenced Christianity.  I will pursue these various links.
      Graham Hagens
      Hamilton, ON 

      From: Judith Lerner <judith.lerner@...>
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2013 7:10 PM
      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Zoroastrianism and its influence on Jewish thought

      I'm not sure what you mean by "Jewish thought," but there exists a robust literature and on-going discussion about the interactions between Judaism and Zoroastrianism, especially regarding the Babylonian Talmud. I'm preparing for a conference now and have no time to cite specifics, but, for starters, see the publications of Shaul Shaked; Yaakov Elman; Geoffrey Herman; and Shai Secunda via a Google search or Academia.edu where publication lists and some actual articles are posted. See, too, the conference proceedings of "Talmud in its Iranian Context," eds. C. Bakhos and R. Shayegan (Mohr Siebeck, 2010). If you contact me off-list in another week with what you've found, perhaps I can supplement it.

      You may also wish to post your query to mailto:Iranian-studies%40yahoogroups.com and mailto:SASAN-L%40yahoogroups.com.
      Judith Lerner, PhD
      Research Associate
      Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
      New York University
      15 East 84 Street
      New York, NY 10028

      On Mar 16, 2013, at 2:09 PM, Graham Hagens wrote:

      > I was hoping for list members more knowledgeable than I to respond to this extremely complex question. In the interim, however, here is an indirect 2 cents contribution.
      > Any answer to this question must involve the broader question of the nature of religio-syncretic studies The collation of essays in Leopold & Jensen (Syncretism in Religion, Equinox, 2004), helps to understand why syncretism tends to languish somewhere between an academic backwater and outright taboo. (Cf. in that volume: Pye [1971]Syncretism and Ambiquity; Kurt [1992].Syncretism: From Theological Invective to a Concept in the Study of Religion; Baird [1991] Syncretism and the History of Religions).
      > No true believers like to admit that their core values might have been compromised by outsiders, and so in spite of strong evidence that Zoroastrianism strongly influenced Greek, Judeo-Christian and South Asian thinking between ~600BCE-~300CE, this topic nowhere achieves the status of a recognised academic discipline. Mary Boyce touches on Zoroastrian influence on Judaism in several passages in her History, but I don't believe she gave it a thorough treatment anywhere - at least nothing like Martin West's contribution to Greek philosophy. Thomas McEvilley's excellent Shape of Ancient Thought, (Allworth 2002) has some references to Persian/Jewish syncretism - but it is not a core focus of his study.
      > One major problem affecting all Zoroastrian studies - and one of particular concern of 'objectivist' archae-historians such as the so-called 'Copenhagen School', is that there are no primary documents. This, not only because so many Persian documents were written on perishable materials, but because Zoroastrianism was an oral tradition, not committed to hard copy until Islamic times, perhaps two millennia after the compostion of the earliest gathas, and a millennium later than the timeframe of maximum contact with Judeo-Christianity.
      > So as far as I am aware a major study on Zoroastrian/Judeo-Christian syncretism has yet to be written. If anyone can correct this impression I would be delighted to learn of it.
      > Graham Hagens
      > Hamilton Ontario
      > ________________________________
      > From: Daniel Grolin <mailto:dgrolin%40yahoo.com>
      > To: ane <mailto:ane-2%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 6:13 PM
      > Subject: [ANE-2] Zoroastrianism and its influence on Jewish thought
      > Hi,
      > I am interested in what the current attitudes are as to the influence of Zoroastrianism on Jewish thought. I am in particular interested in the Copenhagen school of thought's views on this matter. Can someone provide a summary and or references?
      > Regards,
      > Daniel Grolin
      > Århus, Denmark

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