© 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Method & Theory in the Study of Religion – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
Keywords: shamanism; neurotheology; Nepal; Mircea Eliade
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