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

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  • Stewart Felker
    I wrote a little summary about some of the proposed influences here:
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 18, 2013
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      I wrote a little summary about some of the proposed influences here:
      http://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/19by72/wednesday_ama_jewish_history_panel/c8n759a


      Stewart Felker
      University of Memphis






      On Sat, Mar 16, 2013 at 1:09 PM, Graham Hagens <rgrahamh@...> 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 <dgrolin@...>
      > To: ane <ane-2@yahoogroups.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
      > �rhus, Denmark
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • aren
      If I may throw in what might be a marginal addition to this thread, please note that I published a few years ago two articles that discuss the material and
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 18, 2013
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        If I may throw in what might be a marginal addition to this thread, please note that I published a few years ago two articles that discuss the material and literary evidence for the connections between the Land of Israel/Palestine and Iran (or Iranian occupied Babylonia), primarily during the Roman/Byzantine periods.
        See:
        * Maeir, A. M. "Sassanica Varia Palaestiniensia: A Sassanian seal from T. Istaba, Israel, and other Sassanian objects from the southern Levant." Iranica Antiqua 35 (2000): 159-183.
        Safrai, Z., and A. M. Maeir. "‮ אתא אגרתא ממערבא‬(" An Epistle Came from the West"): Historical and Archaeological Evidence for the Ties between the Jewish Communities in the Land of Israel and Babylonia during the Talmudic Period." The Jewish Quarterly Review (2003): 497-531.

        Hope this helps,

        Aren Maeir
        gath.wordpress.com
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