Yishai Kiel, The Systematization of Penitence in Zoroastrianism in Light of Rabbinic and Islamic Literature



The concept of penitence and the idea of repenting for one’s wrongdoings is an important element in the Zoroastrian tradition. The article examines the Pahlavi texts relating to penitence, while exploring points of affinity between the Pahlavi system of penitence and the rabbinic and Muslim discussions of the topic, from the ninth through the eleventh centuries. It is further argued that in all three cultures, a similar endeavor was undertaken to systematize the laws of penitence, define the fundamental elements of the penitential procedure, and ultimately create a coherent legal and theological system of penitence.