From Manichaeism to Zoroastrianism: On the History of the Teaching of the ‘Two Principles’

Authors

  • Götz König
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13154/er.11.2020.8573
Keywords: Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, dialectical development of dualism

Abstract

The essential feature in the religious history of Pre-Islamic Iran is its dualistic worldview.  It marks all stages of Zoroastrianism and also Manichaeism, in which dualism can be regarded as the most important Zoroastrian piece of inheritance. The following essay concentrates on two aspects of this ‘inheritance’ that have been  overlooked until today: 1) The Manichaean dualism is consistently built on elements and tendencies that already existed, albeit covertly, in the Younger Avesta; and 2) The Manichaean dualism has thereby confronted Zoroastrian theologians with the task of giving an alternative and consistent formulation of dualism. Thus, the continuous attention both Dēnkard III and the Škand Gumānīg ī Wizār, two of the most philosophically inclined works in Pahlavi, give the concept of dualism seeks to articulate a relation between the notion of evil and the idea of the “finite,” and also to formulate the notion of "principle," seen as a demarcation from the Manichaean solution.

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Published
2020-07-29
How to Cite
König, G. (2020). From Manichaeism to Zoroastrianism: On the History of the Teaching of the ‘Two Principles’. Entangled Religions, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.13154/er.11.2020.8573