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Teacher's Comment :

Lee Min Ju - History of Zoroastrianism

During history clss, Min Ju expressed interest in Zoroastrianism, and this developed into her doing a research project on the topic. She did bibliographic research, ordered a number of books from antiquarian booksellers. She had about a year for her research and the latter can be divided into two phases. In the first phase she described the origins of Zoroastrianism, the person of Zoroaster, the core beliefs of Zoroastrians. In the second phase, she described the changes Zoroastrianism underwent from the time of its conception until today.
Zoroastrianism covers almost three millennia of history, and only a small community of Zoroastrians remains. Historical evidence of Zoroastrianism, for most of its duration, is fragmentary, and most of the sources Min Ju had access to do not try to compile a history of Zoroastrianism in general, but look at it from a different perspective.
Min Ju did not have access to information not available to other scholars; she did not come up with an original perspective, and, needless to say, she did not have the language skills to use primary sources in their original language. Her paper does meet the standards of a presentation in a university seminar where her task would be to summarize information available on the topic; it does not meet the standards of an academic publication, for, among others, she did not have access to an academic library and she did not have the benefit of guidance qualified for such a purpose.
Research on the History of Zoroastrianism provided Min Ju with the experience of noticing that historical research depends on the basis of primary and secondary sources, on their accessibility (languages), with the experience of having to deal with conflicting opinions expressed in various publications, of having to compile information from a number of sources. Having written such a research paper will make it easier for her to write assignments at university level.

December 20th 2005

Alexander Ganse

Lee Min Ju History of Zoroastrianism

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