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"Syncretistic" Materials

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Chapter Summary

The notion of a pre-Judaic cycle of cosmic-pagan religion that had a unifying factor in Zarathustra's cosmic vision, yet culminated in a Jewish-apocalyptic revelation, was not without some religious grounding. The assembling of the birth-legends into a cycle could indeed have had a definite meaning prior to the composition of Apocalypse of Adam (ApocAd): the coming of the Saošyant would make sense of the whole course of spiritual history. Although the esoteric tendency to claim Zarathustra as the source of the world's religious truth and its inner meaning could not be fully contained within the traditions of orthodoxy, there are many signs that the mainstream of Zoroastrianism was affected by many of the tendencies dramatised in the legends, and resolved them in its own way. Thus the Dātastān-ī Dēnīk 36,3-6 presents the picture of six Saošyants, which correspond to the six other kešvars or continents of sacred geography in Zoroastrianism.

Keywords:Apocalypse of Adam (ApocAd); Jewish-apocalyptic revelation; Saošyant; spiritual history; Zarathustra



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