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Eschatology in the Indo-Iranian Traditions

The Genesis and Transformation of a Doctrine

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Mitra Ara

Eschatology in the Indo-Iranian Traditions traces the roots of the belief in life after death from the earliest religious beliefs of the Indo-European people, through its first textual emergence among the Indo-Iranians. Tracing the Indo-Iranian concepts of the nature and constitution of man, with special reference to the doctrine of the Soul and its transmigration, the book demonstrates the profound nature of the physical, ethical, spiritual, and psychological ideals embodied in these thought systems as preserved in the Indian and Iranian scriptures. The central issue was death and the journey to the afterlife. Exploring the characteristic features of Indo-Iranian religions provides a better understanding of the development of eschatological beliefs in later religions in the same way that the Zoroastrian apocalyptic beliefs point to genetic historical relations among Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam. This comparative study enriches our understanding of the antecedents of afterlife beliefs and creates enthusiasm for further in-depth research into the Indo-Iranian religion as a system, acknowledging its genetic historical connections with both earlier and subsequent traditions. Eschatology in the Indo-Iranian Traditions has wide-ranging appeal to upper undergraduate and graduate courses in comparative religion, Asian studies, philosophy, and Indian and Iranian studies.