Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

Paperback Mythos: The Princeton/Bollingen Series in World Mythology

By (author) Mircea Eliade, Translated by Willard R. Trask, Foreword by Wendy Doniger

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  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 648 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 213mm x 41mm | 794g
  • Publication date: 8 February 2004
  • Publication City/Country: New Jersey
  • ISBN 10: 0691119422
  • ISBN 13: 9780691119427
  • Edition: Revised
  • Edition statement: Revised edition
  • Sales rank: 47,926

Product description

First published in 1951, Shamanism soon became the standard work in the study of this mysterious and fascinating phenomenon. Writing as the founder of the modern study of the history of religion, Romanian migr--scholar Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) surveys the practice of Shamanism over two and a half millennia of human history, moving from the Shamanic traditions of Siberia and Central Asia--where Shamanism was first observed--to North and South America, Indonesia, Tibet, China, and beyond. In this authoritative survey, Eliade illuminates the magico-religious life of societies that give primacy of place to the figure of the Shaman--at once magician and medicine man, healer and miracle-doer, priest, mystic, and poet. Synthesizing the approaches of psychology, sociology, and ethnology, Shamanism will remain for years to come the reference book of choice for those intrigued by this practice.

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Author information

Born in Bucharest in 1907, Mircea Eliade was for many years Sewell L. Avery Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago. He is author of, among other books, "Images and Symbols: Studies in Religious Symbolism, Myth of the Eternal Return", and "Yoga: Immortality and Freedom" (all Princeton). Wendy Doniger is Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago. Her books include "The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade, The Implied Spider", and "Splitting the Difference: Gender and Myth in Ancient Greece and India". Her translations of such texts as "The Rig Veda, The Law of Manu", and the "Kamasutra" have garnered wide praise.

Review quote

"Eliade writes of the shamans with that masterly combination of sympathy and detachment... [His] findings will almost certainly be echoed by great voices of the future."--New York Times Book Review "Eliade is the most informative guide to the modern mythologies."--Frank Kermode, New Statesman "[A] close and detailed yet comparative study of shamanism... [It] has become the standard work on the subject and justifies its claim to be the first book to study the phenomenon over a wide field and in a properly religious context."--Times Literary Supplement "Clearly the best work on Shamanism published so far."--The Review of Religion

Table of contents

Forward to the 2004 Edition xi Foreward xvii Note on Othography xxix CHAPTER 1: General Considerations. Recruiting Methods. Shamanism and Mystical Vocation 3 CHAPTER 2: Initiatory Sickness and Dreams 33 CHAPTER 3: Obtaining Shamanic Powers 67 CHAPTER 4: Shamanic Initiation 110 CHAPTER 5: Symbolism of the Shaman's Costume and Drum 145 CHAPTER 6: Shamanism in Central and North Asia: I. Celestial Ascents. Descents to the Underworld 181 CHAPTER 7: Shamanism in Central and North Asia: II. Magial Cures. The Shaman as Psychopomp 215 CHAPTER 8: Shamanism and Cosmology 259 CHAPTER 9: Shamanism in North and South America 288 CHAPTER 10: Southeast Asian and Oceanian Shamanism 337 CHAPTER 11: Shamanic Ideologies and Techniques among the Indo-Europeans 375 CHAPTER 12: Shamanic Symbolisms and Techniques in Tibet, China, and the Far East 428 CGAPTER 13: Parallel Myths, Symbols, and Rites 466 CHAPTER 14: Conclusion 495 Epilogue 508 List of Works Cited 513 Index 571