Please note that there is also a THIRD option available:
This version is to endorse the Zoroastrian religion, tradition, culture and rituals as a WHOLE and still be pro both conversions and change (relativism). Its is for example not only the Gathas-only camp which is for conversions.
Actually this third option is probably the most popular and widespread in the Zoroastrian global community today. This view has for example been endorsed by the Council of Mobeds in Tehran and I have myself had my navjote (sudreh kushti) performed accordingly by mobed Kamran Jamshidi, involving more or less the full rituals according to the Yasna while still being accepted fully by the Zoroastrian community as a convert.
If I read you correctly, you yourself subscribe to this third option too.
The thing is that Zoroastrianism has always been a RITUALISTIC and relativistic religion rather than a "protestant faith of the book". A practice rather than a dogma. It is a culture and a way of life allowing for personal interpretation and disparate beliefs rather than a dogma set in stone. Do I understand you correctly if you've come to this conclusion too?
- Dölj citerad text -
"One classic example of distortion worked by the "protestant
prejudice" is found in early Zoroastrian studies. The primary source
document in ancient Avestan texts is the Yasna (cognate to the Vedic
yajna or sacrifice). The Yasna is the primary liturgical text or
ritual manual (actually, the actual service) of Zoroastrian worship.
The Yasna is what is done.
Early scholars identified the Gathas embedded within the yasna, and
ignoring their ritual context, torn the Gathas out to study them
separately in the putative attempt to "reconstruct" the "pure faith"
of Zarathustra with no ritual. Some westernized Zoroastrians bought
into this treatment of the Gathas and to this day there is a raging
controversy within the Zoroastrian community between the
reformist "Gatha-only" advocates and the traditionalist Zoroastrians.
Meanwhile, western scholarship, recognizing the orthopraxic nature of
ancient Zoroastrianism has re-inserted the Gathas back into their
intended liturgical context in the Yasna and has found this helps
immensely in solving interpretative puzzles the earlier approach
could not solve. To make sense of much of the Zoroastrian material,
you have to see it ritually enacted over the course of the year as it
follows the religious calendar. Like elements of a drama that only
make sense and come alive when performed, scholars now study this
performance as the real "text". The Zoroastrian priest, Jamsheed
Choksy has a book, Purity and Danger: Triumph over Evil, in which he
documents how the ritual illuminates the mythic lore. The Zoroastrian
priest, Firose Kotwal (along with the University of Colorado??), has
been cooperating with academics in having the Zoroastrian liturgy
video-taped in order to study the living "text" or which the mythic
stories and ritual texts are only fragmented elements like script and