Shamanic Heartland

Robert M. Torrance

in The Spiritual Quest

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 1994 | ISBN: 9780520081321
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520920163 | DOI:
Shamanic Heartland

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This chapter states that with the gradual spread of Lamaist Buddhism northward to Mongolia and Siberia, not only those who adopted (and adapted) the new religion, but others who presumably retained ancestral shaman practices, were deeply influenced by it. Given the wide diffusion of a clearly ancient shamanic complex from Lapland eastward to Greenland (hence far beyond Buddhist influences), this conclusion is untenable; but the undoubted impact of Lamaism on Mongolian and Tungus shamanism suggests a complex and reciprocal relation between them. For the Lamaist Buddhism that spread to the north had already been profoundly influenced, as seen by ancient Tibetan Bon shamanism. In most of northern Eurasia and much of Central Asia, shamanism has been practiced either as a component of tribal religion, or in conjunction with Christianity, Islam, or Buddhism into recent times.

Keywords: Buddhism; Mongolia; Siberia; religion; shaman; Lamaism; Tungus; shamanism; Eurasia; Christianity

Chapter.  9555 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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