The World of Shamanism: New Views of an Ancient Tradition

Overview

Fascinating, comprehensive, and eminently readable, this guide explores shamanism—the world's most enduring healing and religious tradition—in the light of modern medicine, psychology, neuroscience, consciousness disciplines, and religious studies.

Praise for The World of Shamanism
"As if on cue, just when I am beginning to think that shamanism is the ground from which all religions spring, along comes this ...

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The World of Shamanism: New Views of an Ancient Tradition

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Overview

Fascinating, comprehensive, and eminently readable, this guide explores shamanism—the world's most enduring healing and religious tradition—in the light of modern medicine, psychology, neuroscience, consciousness disciplines, and religious studies.

Praise for The World of Shamanism
"As if on cue, just when I am beginning to think that shamanism is the ground from which all religions spring, along comes this book. I cannot imagine a book that would be more helpful to me in thinking through this important subject."
—Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions

"...Unquestionably the most rounded compact introduction to shamanism, particularly the inner world of shamans, available today. A door-opening book for students of consciousness and spirituality."
—Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., M.Litt, author of The Yoga Tradition

"A splendidly clear and timely survey of shamanism."
—Jean Achterberg, Ph.D., author of Imagery in Healing

"Quite simply, this book is a major step forward in understanding the vital phenomenon of shamanism. I recommend it highly."
—Charles Tart, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of California at Davis, author of States of Consciousness

"...Eminently useful and inspiring. A brilliant integrative work that pushes the frontiers of consciousness in insightful, practical, and powerful ways."
—Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., Cultural Anthropologist, author of The Four-Fold Way and The Second Half of Life

"...Unique in bringing together the full range of anthropological, psychological, and psychiatric literature on this vital subject. It does so with admirable scholarship yet still manages to be sensitive and clear."
—Christie W. Kiefer, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of California at San Francisco

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Unlike many of Llewellyn's other titles, this is neither a manual of practices nor a survey of world shamanic traditions. Rather, drawing on current research in the broad context of religious and healing practices, it seeks to reexamine shamanism as a whole. Walsh (psychiatry, philosophy, anthropology & religious studies, Univ. of California, Irvine; Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices) argues persuasively that shamans are not as a class psychotic, epileptic, or complete charlatans. He does a passable job describing shamanic journeying, healing, and interactions with spirits as well as considering psychological mechanisms that could be at work. But his book would have been stronger had he included examples from a wider range of traditions, and his coverage of psychedelic drug use, "psi" powers, and other topics weakens the work, as he only tenuously connects them to shamanism. In the end, many questions are left unanswered owing to lack of research. Nonetheless, few works have attempted such a broad survey of shamanism, and Walsh's perspective is unique. A worthwhile addition to subject collections in academic or large public libraries.
—Eric Norton

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738705750
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 791,245
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Walsh, M. D., Ph.D. (California) is a professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology, and also adjunct professor of religious studies at the University of California at Irvine. His publications include the books The World of Shamanism and Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind. He is also coeditor of the books Paths Beyond Ego: The Transpersonal Vision and Gifts From a Course in Miracles.

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