Shamanism: Critical Concepts in Sociology, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Shamanism

Critical Concepts in Sociology, 1st Edition

Edited by Andrei A. Znamenski

Routledge

1,240 pages

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Hardback: 9780415311922
pub: 2004-03-11
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Description

Mircea Eliade descibed shamanism as the primal religion of humanity, the 'archaic technique of ecstasy'. The books of best-selling author Carlos Castaneda made it part of popular culture. Since the 1960s shamanism has continued to attract the attention of scholars, artists, writers and the general public. The most intriguing aspect of this religion is the ability of shamans to enter into contact with spirits on behalf of their communities. The first eighteenth-century explorers of Siberia dubbed shamanism a blatant fraud. Later, academic observers stamped it as 'neurotic delusion'. In the 1960s shamans were recast as 'wounded healers', who sacrifice their lives for the spiritual well being of their communities. Many current writers and scholars treat shamanism as ancient wisdom that has much to teach us about true spirituality.

This anthology tells the story of shamanism in Eurasia, North and South America, Africa and Australia. It brings together for the first time fifty-six articles and book excerpts by anthropologists, psychologists, religious scholars and historians, illustrating the variety of views on this subject.

About the Series

Critical Concepts in Sociology

The Routledge Critical Concepts in Sociology series provides concise, authoritative reprints of key articles in sociology, collecting the essential secondary literature on key subjects. Edited by acknowledged leaders in the field, each set puts the development of fundamental concepts into their historical context, and provides students and researchers with a clear snapshot of current thinking. Collections span a multitude of subject areas, including religion, multiculturalism and celebrity.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
REL047000
RELIGION / Mysticism
REL054000
RELIGION / Reference
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General