Introduction – Linguistic palaeontology, history and religion

This is the introduction to a 4-part blog post discussing Indo-European linguistics, religion and in particular the ancient Persian religion Zoroastrianism.

The Zoroastrians are one of the most influential, but little-known religions in the history of mankind, both in the West and the East. Zoroastrianism is the missing link between the 3 main Western religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and the 2 main Eastern religions Hinduism, Buddhism). As an Indo-European tradition it also bears traceable links to Roman, Greek and even Viking myth.

To find out how, I’m writing this note in 4 parts the first of them introducing you to the technique of “linguistic palaeontology” which I studied at university. This involves discovering cultural and religious links through language. The technique is closely related to historico-linguistics, etymology, philology and history. I’m going to talk about the Indo European language and how its daughter languages are related to each other.

In the second part I’ll come back to the relevance of Zoroastrianism and its links to Hinduism and by extention the other Eastern religions / philosophies such as Buddhism. I’ll also talk about some of the beliefs and practices of that ancient religion.

In the third part, I’ll link Zoroastrianism to the European folk religions, the Vikings, Germans, Greeks and Romans.

And finally in the fourth part I’ll provide the link between Zoroastrianism and Judaism, and by extension to Christianity and Islam. I’ll talk about some of the core monotheistic beliefs which ultimately derive from Zoroastrianism.

It is a bold claim indeed to assert that many of the religious ideas at the core of the Abrahamic religions are derived from a different source. Many cults and sects have made these kind of claims, such as Kabbalism which claims that all the worlds religions are merely corruptions of the original religion of mankind, Kabbalah. I wont make these kinds of claims, but I will present the scholarly accepted idea that the religions are linked somehow connected directly and indirectly.

I hope this has whet your appetite to know more !

Ste

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