Open Theology 4 (1):471-488 (2018)

Olga Louchakova-Schwartz
University Of California At Davis
The Gathas, a corpus of seventeen poems in Old Avestan composed by the ancient Iranian poet-priest Zarathushtra (Zoroaster) ca. 1200 B.C.E., is the foundation document of Zoroastrian religion. Even though the dualistic axiology of the Gathas has been widely noted, it has proved very difficult to understand the meaning and genre of the corpus or the position of Zarathushtra’s ideas with regard to other religious philosophies. Relying on recent advances in translation and decryptions of Gathic poetry, I shall here develop a philosophical interpretation of the Gathas, including, as shall be discussed here in detail, explication of the revelation he reports in the poem known as Yasna 30. I argue that, similarly to Marx, Henry, and Schutz, Zarathushtra connects social criticism with an original philosophy of (inter)subjectivity and existential reflection, placing his account in the context of a fully developed metaphysics which includes the human-divine sharing of mental properties. I show that in order to accommodate this complicated problematic, Zarathushtra uses the vehicle of multiple realities. Reflecting the spontaneity of life, the dynamics of various ontological modes in the text create a reference to subjectivity. A description of the dream in Yasna 30 is sufficiently within the limits of possibility for a dream experience, and thereby delivers three original phenomenological reductions. The reductions initiate a genetic account of the phenomenalization of invisible impulses which give rise to moral choices, and define the human-divine relationship. The opposing moral choices open into a reverse axiological intentionality in the sphere of intersubjectivity, and are said to plot life for the rightful and lifelessness for the wrongful. It can be concluded that Zarathushtra’s theism and views of the social world are “the first philosophy”, with a unique and original phenomenological ontology of intersubjectivity at its core
Keywords Gathaz  Zarathusthra  Schutz  intersubjectivity  ego  dream  multiple realities  moral theology  lifeworld  the invisible  phenomenological ontology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1515/opth-2018-0036
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Beyond Empathy: Phenomenological Approaches to Intersubjectivity.Dan Zahavi - 2001 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (5-7):151-167.
Beyond Empathy. Phenomenological Approaches to Intersubjectivity.Dan Zahavi - 2011 - Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija 18 (1):69-82.
Intersubjectivity in Husserl’s Work.Alexander Schnell - 2010 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy 2 (1):9-32.
گاتها (Gathas). Zarathusthra (ed.) - 1200 BC - online.


Added to PP index

Total views
190 ( #53,137 of 2,439,097 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
44 ( #16,459 of 2,439,097 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes