Zoroaster and the First Enlightenment | Rasoul Sorkhabi
Zoroaster, the Greek for Zarathushtra—the ancient Persian Prophet who lived three millennia ago—is often viewed as the founder of Zoroastrianism, a minority religion today with no more than 200,000 followers living in India, Iran, and Western Countries. However, Zoroaster’s religious, intellectual, and ethical influences permeate history. Although popularized in recent times by Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra, Zoroaster was probably the first philosopher whose theosophical revolution three millennia ago introduced the ideas of reason, truth, unity, law, liberty, free will, good ethics, and social engagement into the fabric of human thinking. Here is an invitation to a deep history with profound relevance to the world we live in. Rasoul Sorkhabi, Ph.D., is a professor of geology at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. His life spans Iran and India, where he first encountered the Zoroastrian religion, as well as the U.S. His lifelong interest in the interface of science, philosophy, and spiritual traditions has resulted in a large number of articles published in Quest, Interreligious Insight, Light of Consciousness, Resurgence, Pure Inspiration, Mandala, Sufi, Rumi Review, Tiferet, Yoga & Health, Himalayan Journal, Kyoto Journal, Persian Heritage, The World and I, and others. This presentation is based on his articles published in the winter 2020 and fall 2021 issues of Quest magazine.