Shamanism - Archaic Techniques of Ectsasy, Mircea Eliade, 1951
Copyright 1964 by Bollingen Foundation, first Princeton/Bollingen Paperback Printing, 1972
Shamanism is pre-eminently a religious phenomenon of Siberia and Central Asia; throughout this vast area, the magio-religious life of society centers on the figure of the shaman, at once magician and medicine man, healer and miracle-doer, psychopomp, priest, mystic, and poet.  The same phenomena and techniques occur elsewhere in Asia, in Oceania, in the Americas, and among the ancient Indo-European peoples.  Mircea Eliade, writing as a historian of religion, synthesizes the approaches of psychology, sociology, and ethnology.  He analyzes the ideology of shamanism and discusses its techniques, its symbolisms, its mythologies.  For Eliade shamanism is, precisely, a technique of ecstasy.

This book is a factually exhausting/exhaustive work.  It is ideal for students looking for precise data and as a reference book.  It is very informative and in depth, however, not an easy read and probably better used as a tool in comparative relgious studies, or in the study of shamanism per se as it covers such a wide field.

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