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epub In Search of Zarathustra: The First Prophet and the Ideas That Changed the World download

by Paul Kriwaczek

  • ISBN: 0375415289
  • Author: Paul Kriwaczek
  • ePub ver: 1952 kb
  • Fb2 ver: 1952 kb
  • Rating: 4.3 of 5
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st American ed edition (February 11, 2003)
  • Formats: doc txt mobi mbr
  • Category: Spirituality
  • Subcategory: Other Eastern Religions & Sacred Texts
epub In Search of Zarathustra: The First Prophet and the Ideas That Changed the World download

Paul Kriwaczek (Author).

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Moving from present to past, Paul Kriwaczek examines the effects of the prophet's teachings on the spiri-tual and daily lives of diverse peoples. Beginning in the year 2000 with New Year's festivities in Iran, he walks us back through Nietzsche's nineteenth-century interpretation of Zarathustra to the Cathars of thirteenth-century France and the ninth-century Bulgars; from ancient Rome to the time of Alexander the Great's destruction of the Persian Empire; and, finally, to the time of Zarathustra himself.

As Paul Kriwaczek shows, it left more of a mark on Judaism, Christianity and Islam than any of this holy trinity would . Kriwaczek has hit upon a fascinating and neglected subject which, with his background as a BBC producer in the Middle East, he is well-equipped to illuminate.

As Paul Kriwaczek shows, it left more of a mark on Judaism, Christianity and Islam than any of this holy trinity would care to admit. The followers of the prophet Zoroastra or Zarathustra or Zarathushtra (depending on how close to the old Persian you want to get; it translates as "rich in camels") have been around since 1200BC.

the era of the great Persian kings Cyrus and Darius in the 6th century BC, to the beginning of the first pre-Christian millennium.

Long before the first Hebrew temple, the birth of Christ or the mission of Muhammad, Zarathustra had taught of a single universal god, of the battle between Good and Evil, of the Devil, Heaven and Hell, and of an eventual end to the world. the era of the great Persian kings Cyrus and Darius in the 6th century BC, to the beginning of the first pre-Christian millennium. Paul Kriwaczek was born in Vienna in 1937.

Author:Kriwaczek, Paul Paul Kriwaczek was born in Vienna in 1937

Author:Kriwaczek, Paul. Each month we recycle over . million books, saving over 12,500 tonnes of books a year from going straight into landfill sites. Read full description. See details and exclusions. In London he trained as a dentist, and spent a decade working in Iran and Afghanistan. From there he travelled extensively in Asia and Africa before developing a career in broadcasting and journalism. In 1970 he joined the BBC full-time and wrote, produced and directed for 25 years.

Books for People with Print Disabilities.

It is a 4th printing. The ISBN is 0-375-61528-9 and the LOC is 2002073015. It is a hardback with dustjacket of 248 pages, weighing 1lb6oz and the condition is NF/NF. This book is solid, straight and tight. There is an owner inscription on the half title, but no other markings of any kind.

By (author) Paul Kriwaczek.

A fascinating journey through time and across Europe and Central Asia, in search of the prophet Zarathustra (a.k.a. Zoroaster)—perhaps the greatest religious lawgiver of the ancient world—and his vast influence.In Persia more than three thousand years ago, Zarathustra spoke of a single universal god, the battle between good and evil, the devil, heaven and hell, and an eventual end to the world—foreshadowing the core beliefs of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Moving from present to past, Paul Kriwaczek examines the effects of the prophet’s teachings on the spiri-tual and daily lives of diverse peoples. Beginning in the year 2000 with New Year’s festivities in Iran, he walks us back through Nietzsche’s nineteenth-century interpretation of Zarathustra to the Cathars of thirteenth-century France and the ninth-century Bulgars; from ancient Rome to the time of Alexander the Great’s destruction of the Persian Empire; and, finally, to the time of Zarathustra himself. Not only an enthralling travel book, In Search of Zarathustra is also a revelation of the importance of the prophet, and a brilliantly conceived and lucid explication of the belief systems that helped shape the European Enlightenment, the Middle Ages, the Dark Ages, and the beginning of the Christian era. It is an enthralling study of a little-explored subject.
Comments (7)

Jerinovir
This book reads just like a time-travel adventure, as Kriwaczek hops us from present-day iran all the way back in time to the year 1200 BC, when some scholars approximate that the prophet Zarathustra lived. Each chapter is just a little farther step back in time, as the events in each era have their roots in a previous era, to which Kriwaczek then takes us in the next chapter.

What struck me in the end was how, ultimately, Zarathustra's actual teachings eschewed religious formality and rituality in exchange for attempting to only distill out a fundamental mentality and morality that really matters in the world. Yet, upon his death, all the old formalities and rituals flooded ride back in anyways, and the old fire worship was right back in full swing again.

What Kriwaczek's book does is to show how rare and precarious the life of true virtue not only is, but has always been. Yet always will good ideas like Zarathustra's necessarily endure. Time and again, empires rise and fall as countless virtuous souls are oppressed and slaughtered, yet always the thin filament of true virtue endures.
Ce
It's actually rather difficult to find a good book on Zoroastrianism. If you know basically nothing about the religion, other than that it was important, and you're not already a scholar of it, you basically are up a creek. This is why I was so excited to come across this book. Kriwaczek writes in a whimsical manner, part travelogue and part religious studies. While at times I might have preferred a bit more organization to help me better understand the religion and current scholarly opinion on what it was, I appreciated Kriwaczek's approach. He chose to immerse himself in the history, as much as an outsider possibly can, and through that immersion see the importance of this now forgotten religion.

I picked up this book because I knew that Zoroastrianism had a great influence on my faith, Christianity, but I didn't know how. Now, besides enjoying the travels of Kriwaczek, I now know that I am indebted to ancient beliefs in angels, the afterlife, and Satan. Thank you, Zarathustra.

May you be remembered.
Llbery
I was looking for a good basic intro to the Zoroastrianism faith, and grabbed this. At places it gets bogged down with too much "fluff", and at others the info is too "lite" to support what the book is about, a search & the discoveries of that search, thus 3 stars.

Tho it is a good read with some fine info, it is NOT a decent introduction to the faith, so the search goes on...
Rocky Basilisk
It had been a long while since I read a book that I devoured every word. What an excellent writer with a vast knowledge in history, philosophy and theology . A great story teller and a magnificent penmanship .
FEISKO
"In Search of Zarathustra" by Paul Kriwaczek is a fascinating tale of one man's quest to uncover the very origins of what some would call the world's first monotheistic faith, Zoroastrianism. One of the things I love about this book is that it points out connections between the various modern faiths and belief-systems of today that aren't so obvious, and how many of those beliefs tie back to a common root almost 3,500 years old.

Like peeling back the layers of an onion, the author slowly takes the reader back in time -- from the post-modern adaptation of Zoroastrian dualism (Good vs. evil), through to Nietzsche's (mis)interpretation of the prophet's message, and esp. focusing on the root the faith took in Ancient Persia [today's Iran] under Kings Darius and Cyrus the Great. This had huge implications for not only Judeo-Christian thought (for the Jews were part of the Persian empire for a time), but also for Islam and Buddhism.

Also, the author has an interesting chapter on the mystery religion of Mithraism -- which should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand more deeply the origins of such concepts as the Trinity and Christian holidays such as Christmas, which are deeply rooted in the worship of Mithras (the Unconquered Sun who was said to have been born around December 21 or 22). In fact, the author makes a persuasive argument that the act of handshaking itself originates from the cult worship of Mithras!

However, where I take issue with the author is the ax he seems to grind against Judaism, Islam and to a lesser extent Christianity. Even though he is Jewish himself, he never seems convinced that any of the Bible could possibly ever have happened - and seems to go out of his way at times to take jabs at Biblical veracity (esp. towards the end of the book).

Moreover, I fundamentally disagree that Zoroastrianism was in any significant way a precursor to today's three great monotheistic faiths -- largely, because Zarathustra himself was not a monotheist!! He believed in two gods of more or less equal power, Ahura Mazda (the "Wise Lord" or the True God) versus Angra Mainyu (or Ahriman, the Zoroastrian equivalent of the devil). Zarathustra believed that believers needed to wage war against evil through right actions, thoughts and deeds -- so that the "true" God (Ahura Mazda) will conquer evil forever and reign victoriously forever in the last days.

This of course would be considered blasphemous in the extreme for most monotheistic faiths today -- where God is unequaled in the supreme order of the universe, and for whom ultimate victory over death and evil is never in any doubt (nor does God in anyway "need" our help to win). So, while one could argue that Zoroastrianism imported such concepts as heaven, hell, angels and demons -- I think a better argument could be made that these concepts exist and are found in Judaism, Christianity and Islam -- because they are based in some truth ... and Zarathustra may just have been the first one to articulate these ideas.

In summary, I still believe the book is a great read and highly recommend it to anyone who is curious about learning more about the history of religion, Iranian and Persian culture, and archaeology.
Elizabeth
"in search of Zarathustra" is a fascinating tale of author's search for Zarathustra's influence in Judeo-Christianity religion. Without falling into academic endless debates and tiring arguments, Mr. Kriwaczek provides tangible and meaningful evidence backed by history, records and visible signs.

What I found most engaging in PK's book was his journey and how it pulls you in with every chapter and every passage only to reach a most wonderful climax at the end.

Zarathustra lived more than three thousand years ago and his followers are a few by today's standards. However the power of his message is in its simplicity and profoundness. How much more does one need to know or remember than to take side with the good and fight evil in this world, to practice good thought, good words and good deed? Perhaps the simplicity of this everlasting message is what is most powerful about it.
Aurizar
what a delightful way to learn history -
school books should be written like this.
I learned more from this one book than I would have
from a whole set of encyclopedias.---
shows how the ancient Persians strongly
influenced most of our modern religions

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