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Almut Hintze

Almut Hintze. “Zoroastrian Afterlife Beliefs and Funerary Practices”

Compte-rendu réalisé par Salman Aliyari Babolghani
Référence(s) :

Almut Hintze. “Zoroastrian Afterlife Beliefs and Funerary Practices” in Ch. M. Moreman (ed.). The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying. 2018, London and New York, p. 86-97

Texte intégral

1The article presents an overview of the Zoroastrian afterlife beliefs and funerary practices. It starts with a short introduction to Zoroastrian communities, the theological background of Zoroastrian funeral ceremonies, and also the architecture of a daxma or ‘Tower of Silence’. The author recounts the traditional Zoroastrian funerary rites (e.g., the recitation of Ašəm Vohu-prayer, the performance of sagdīd ‘seen by a dog’ rites, etc.) from the death of a person to the exposure of his/her corpse in the daxma to be devoured by scavenger birds.

2In the next section, the Zoroastrian eschatological beliefs (e.g., the soul perceiving its own daēnā ‘religious views’, its crossing of the Činwad Bridge, etc.) and also the ceremonies (e.g., Yašt-i sewwom, Hōm Drōn, etc.) which are performed on behalf of the departed to protect his/her soul against evil forces, are discussed and explained.

3Finally, Hinze presents some interesting archaeological evidences for daxmas and the different types of pre-Islamic funerary practices in relation to Zoroastrian prescriptions. She also mentions some difficulties related to the practice of exposure that Zoroastrian communities encountered both in Iran and India, and the solutions they managed to find according to their religious prescriptions, e.g., burying the dead in cement or stone-lined graves in Iran and using electric crematoria in India.

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Référence électronique

Salman Aliyari Babolghani. Almut Hintze, « Almut Hintze. “Zoroastrian Afterlife Beliefs and Funerary Practices” », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 40-41 | 2019, document 15, mis en ligne le 30 décembre 2019, consulté le 07 août 2020. URL :

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