Zoroastrian penal law III: the impact of Modernity
In the third and last essay concerning Zoroastrian penal law the impact of modernity is the point of interest. After the demolition of a Zoroastrian state in Iran Zoroastrians became the subjects of the Muslim rulers. Following mass conversions Zoroastrianism was now in defence which modified also the role of criminal law in everyday practice. Although the ancient wisdom of Zoroastrianism was maintained during the centuries, the delicate distinctions in criminal terms and legal theory eclipsed. The religious and judicial tradition was embodied and carried on in a literary genre called 'rivayat'. The modern period bears witness to the disappearance of priestly authority in penal law, and the rising of a corporate judging body called 'panchayet' in India. Although these organs still exist today, their relevance in penal jurisdiction has vanished. Nowadays penal law does not play a vital role in debates among Zoroastrians, it was replaced by other important questions of modernity.
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