Sunday, December 21, 2008

Encyclopaedia Iranica on Mandaeans

Of all the websites I looked over during my search of the web the one that I am most enamored of is Encyclopaedia Iranica. It contains 6 articles that pertain to Mandaeans with two including them but not enough to be worth overly investigating and 4 articles that are simply amazing. Prominent authors in the fields of Gnosticism and Mandaean studies wrote these articles including both Jorunn Jacobson Buckley and Edmondo F. Lupieri. From what I can tell according to the styling of the articles the website is attempting to put together a five part collection of essays on the Mandaeans. These essays cover i)History, ii) The Mandaean Religion, iii) Interaction with Iranian Religion, iv) The Community in Iran, and v) The Mandaic Language, currently section v is missing. It is my belief that these articles are being written explicitly for the website as three of the dates are from early 2008 while the fourth date is from 2005. I recommend reading the article on Interaction with Iranian Religion as it brings up some intriguing conversation on the influence that Zoroastrian had on Mandaeanism.

This idea of Zoroastrianism having an influence on Mandaeanism would help to account how a sect in the Judaic family diverted in such a way. Judaism was certainly in contact with Zoroastrianism, could some of the Israelites have seen something in the teachings of Zoroaster? This is all speculation until more detailed research is done into the subject. Kurt Rudolph has made an excellent summary of the possibilities of this now it is time for someone to take the research farther.

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