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Description - Shamanism by Graham Harvey

Shamanism has been practised amongst communities all over the world for millennia, and continues to survive today in both modern and ancient forms. During its long evolution it has migrated from Siberia, Aboriginal Australia, Northern Europe and South America to become a core part of western New Age and rave culture as well as popular mythology. It's place within modernity is at once familiar and alien, exemplary and uneasy. So how does the fantastical image of the shaman influence debates on identity, experience, nature, rationality, the cosmos, transformation and change? Shamanism: A Reader unites perspectives from disciplines including anthropology, psychology, musicology, botany to provide a unique overview of modern writing on shamanism. From grassroots political writing to classical ethnographies, and imaginative narratives to detailed case studies, the 25 articles and short extracts presented here cover topics including gender, initiation, hallucinogenic consciousness and political protest. Juxtaposing the traditional practices of indigenous peoples with their new and often radically urban reinterpretations, experts including Michael Harner, Milh?ly Hopp?l , Majorie M Balzer and Piers Vitebsky raise questions about constructions of shamanism, its efficacy, its use and misuse as a cultural symbol, and its real nature. Locating its material in the encounter between traditional and contemporary, and within many forms of response to the image of the shaman, Shamanism: A Reader is an essential tribute to the vitality and breadth of shamanic tradition both among its original practitioners of Europe, tribes of America and Asia, and within seemingly familiar aspects of the modern west. Representing the best of classic and current scholarship, and highlighting the diversity ofapproaches to shamanism in an accessible and user-friendly way, this clearly introduced and organised collection sets a new standard for shamanic study in terms of the bredth and depth of its coverage.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415253307
ISBN-10: 0415253306
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 25mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 3-Oct-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Graham Harvey

Graham Harvey has written widely on paganism and indigenous religion, and is the author of Pagan Pathways (Harper Collins, 2001) and Paganism Today. He teaches at King Alfred's College, Winchester.

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