The Parsi Religion by John Wilson
THE PARSI RELIGION
As contained in the Zand Avasta
Propounded and Defended by the Zoroastrians of India & Persia
Unfolded, Refuted and Contrasted with Christianity
by JOHN WILSON
President of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and Missionary of the Church of Scotland, Bombay
I do have to agree with the comments of Ervad Jal Dastur on this issue. Yes, Wilson’s aim was “to capitalize on the ignorance of the Parsees on their inability to explain their own religion.” (Not very different from today, is it?) Wilson offered convoluted reasonings to justify his cockeyed arguments that the Zoroastrian religion had not much to offer relative to Christianity. He called the Zoroastrian faith polytheistic and not monotheistic, because of the veneration to the Amesha Spentas and numerous yazatas. Of course, he had no clue that these are manifestations of Ahura Mazda and not “gods”. Wilson did not realize that the Vendidad has elements in common with the Book of Leviticus-the Biblical Vendidad! Wilson managed to convert three Parsi boys to Christianity which caused an uproar in the community at the time. One of them became a missionary himself while another realized his mistake and wanted to come back to the Zoroastrian fold. Not sure if he was accepted by the community–will have to research that.
This is preposterous. That guy a so called devout christian should first look inwards to all the shenanigans, stupidities, absurdities and hypocracies of his religion which is still in this day and age. Such demeaning and trash should not be circulated, it is a shame that it has been done. The person who has circulated this needs to immediately pull it out this article if he considers himself to be a Zarthoshti.
Had the knowledge previously that this guy Wilson was instrumental in creating chaos within our community in the 19th century and that he attempted to capitalize on the ignorance of the Parsees on their inability to explain their own religion. The main goal of this Scottish clergy was to convert as many Parsees as he could at the time to Christianity but as I understand, his objective never got materialized. This book however brings forth the verbiage of Wilson in a more expansive manner. Those of us who are true Zarathushtis would certainly rebuke with Wilson’s commentary in the book, while those who are simply the pretenders of our religion may utilize some of Wilson’s arguments in their own attempts to reform the ancient practices of Zoroastrianism. In any event, it’s sort of interesting to get exposed to this book written almost 200 years ago – thanks for posting!