Zarathustra and Zoroastrianism - Michael Stausberg

Zarathustra and Zoroastrianism - Michael Stausberg

Priesthood, Rituals and Ritual Infrastructures

Zarathustra and Zoroastrianism - Michael Stausberg

Michael Stausberg [+-]
University of Bergen
Michael Stausberg is Professor of the Study of Religion at the University of Bergen and his publications include Zarathustra and Zoroastrianism, Religion and Tourism, Contemporary Theories of Religion (editor), and Theorizing Rituals (co-editor).


Most rulers of the Pre-Islamic Iranian kingdoms professed their allegiance to Ahura Mazdā and other deities of the Zoroastrian pantheon. However, the interrelationships between “state” and “religious” institutions in Pre-Islamic Iranian history varied according to period and region. In at least some periods, the same persons could perform “judicial” and “religious” tasks. Many rulers may have undertaken religious commitments and investments out of genuine conviction, others out of mere convention. Such investments included, for example, the funding and sponsoring of temples, fires or other constructions, and the performance of various rituals by priests; on the other hand, the “religiosity” of the kings was probably an important source for their recognition as legitimate (generally accepted) rulers. “Religion” provides a kind of symbolic capital which can be used for the achievement of various interests.

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Stausberg, Michael. Priesthood, Rituals and Ritual Infrastructures. Zarathustra and Zoroastrianism. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 77 - 88 Oct 2008. ISBN 9781845533205. Date accessed: 07 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.19018. Oct 2008

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