Edited by Graham Harvey
Routledge – 2002 – 480 pages
Shamanism has been practised amongst communities all over the world for millennia, and continues to survive today in both modern and ancient forms. Shamanism: A Reader unites perspectives from disciplines including anthropology, psychology, musicology, and botany to provide an unique overview of modern writing on shamanism. Juxtaposing the traditional practices of indigenous peoples with their new and often radically urban reinterpretations, experts including Michael Harner, Milhàly Hoppàl, Majorie M Balzer and Piers Vitebsky raise questions about constructions of shamanism, its efficacy, its use and misuse as a cultural symbol, and its real nature.
Locating its material in the encounter between traditional and contemporary, and within many forms of response to the image of the shaman, Shamanism: A Reader is an essential tribute to the vitality and breadth of shamanic tradition both among its original practitioners of Europe, tribes of America and Asia, and within seemingly familiar aspects of the modern west. Representing the best of classic and current scholarship, and highlighting the diversity of approaches to shamanism in an accessible and user-friendly way, this clearly introduced and organized collection sets a new standard for shamanic study in terms of the breadth and depth of its coverage.
'Graham Harvey's compilation stands out … for the ambition and range of his vision … it is a mark of the care and respect with which Harvey approaches his material that he recognises the existence of no fewer than five different phenomena with the category broadly labelled shamanism …' - Ronald Hutton, Times Higher Education Supplement
'A very interesting anthology of shamanic and neo-shamanic thought … for anyone wanting to understand shamanism form a wider point of view … it is an excellent and enjoyable read.' - Sacred Hoop
Introduction 1. Initiation 2. Shamanising 3. Aesthetics 4. Context 5. New Index
Graham Harvey has written widely on paganism and indigenous religion, and is the author of Pagan Pathways (Harper Collins, 2001) and Paganism Today. He teaches at King Alfred's College, Winchester.