Shamanism Goes Global

Andrei A. Znamenski

in The Beauty of the Primitive

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780195172317
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199785759 | DOI:
  Shamanism Goes Global

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The increased attention given to shamanism in humanities studies and in popular culture since the 1960s is usually associated with two names: Mircea Eliade and Carlos Castaneda. Eliade, a Romanian-born philosopher and religious scholar, released Le Chamanisme et les techniques archaiques de l'extase, the first grand treatise on shamanism, which became an academic bestseller after its revised translation was published in English as Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (1964). Also an immigrant, Castaneda published an experiential novel, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968), he captivated the minds of numerous spiritual seekers and served as an inspiration for many literary emulators. Eventually, Castaneda became one of the informal apostles of the “New Age” community. This chapter discusses the contribution of Eliade and Castaneda to shamanology and places them in the context of a time that contributed to the rise of interest in shamanism.

Keywords: shamanism; Mircea Eliade; Carlos Castaneda; ecstasy; archaeology; cosmology; postmodernism; The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

Chapter.  16990 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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