Knopf

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

Sale price Price $20.44 Regular price

ISBN: 9780375415289
Publisher: Knopf
Edition:
Publication Date: 2003-02-11
Number of pages: 272
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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.

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