ANTH264-01B Shamanisms: Anthropological Perspectives (with Eric Michael Kelley)
This course examines the varieties of religious experience, ritual, and practice that fall under the rubric of `shamanism' and `shaman'. Originally a Tungus (Siberian tribal people) word, `shaman' has been extended to include diverse group of specialists: from midwives to Shamans, Priests, Sorcerers, Prophets, and New Shamans. All these religious practitioners use their skills to achieve direct communication with the spiritual realm. The course focuses on the shamanism that is integral to many indigenous religions, and how it aims to fortify relations between humans and the spiritual world in order to validate cultural knowledge, regulate human relations with the natural environment, diagnose and heal human suffering, and build community solidarity.