On the Antiquity of Shamanism and its Role in Human Religiosity

On the Antiquity of Shamanism and its Role in Human Religiosity © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/094330510X12604383550963 Method and Th eory in the Study of Religion 22 (2010) 68-92 brill.nl/mtsr M E T H O D T H E O R Y in the S T U D Y O F R E L I G I O N & On the Antiquity of Shamanism and its Role in Human Religiosity 1 Homayun Sidky Department of Anthropology, Miami University sidkyh@muohio.edu Abstract Drawing upon ethnographic data on the thriving and dynamic shamanistic tradition in Nepal (gathered between 1999 and 2008), this paper addresses the problematic nature of many of the central assumptions concerning shamanism and its place in the development of human religiosity. Th ese include beliefs that shamanism was the universal religion of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers and that it represents a neurotheology, the expressions of which have been preserved in ancient cave art and in the magico-religious beliefs and practices of extant or recently extant hunting-gathering cultures on the peripheries of the “civilized world.” Th e paucity of any concrete testable and falsifi able evidence for any of these assumptions raises the compelling question of why so many anthropologists, archaeologists, and scholars in other fi elds subscribe to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Method & Theory in the Study of Religion Brill

On the Antiquity of Shamanism and its Role in Human Religiosity

Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, Volume 22 (1): 68 – Jan 1, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0943-3058
eISSN
1570-0682
DOI
10.1163/094330510X12604383550963
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/094330510X12604383550963 Method and Th eory in the Study of Religion 22 (2010) 68-92 brill.nl/mtsr M E T H O D T H E O R Y in the S T U D Y O F R E L I G I O N & On the Antiquity of Shamanism and its Role in Human Religiosity 1 Homayun Sidky Department of Anthropology, Miami University sidkyh@muohio.edu Abstract Drawing upon ethnographic data on the thriving and dynamic shamanistic tradition in Nepal (gathered between 1999 and 2008), this paper addresses the problematic nature of many of the central assumptions concerning shamanism and its place in the development of human religiosity. Th ese include beliefs that shamanism was the universal religion of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers and that it represents a neurotheology, the expressions of which have been preserved in ancient cave art and in the magico-religious beliefs and practices of extant or recently extant hunting-gathering cultures on the peripheries of the “civilized world.” Th e paucity of any concrete testable and falsifi able evidence for any of these assumptions raises the compelling question of why so many anthropologists, archaeologists, and scholars in other fi elds subscribe to

Journal

Method & Theory in the Study of ReligionBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2010

Keywords: shamanism; neurotheology; Nepal; Mircea Eliade

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