Lecture 4. The Shamanistic Survivals and Revivals

created by:

Mark Jarzombek

from the module:

The American Continuum

The Lecture is about the modern world. Shamanistic world views are not dead, but alive and well especially in Asia, but also Africa. To understand this, one has to take off the monotheistic blinders. Animism was incorporated into the core principles of Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and is most present in Shintoism. We start therefore with the THE BI-CAMERAL THESIS, as coined by by Julian Jaynes. The idea is to get students to see an alternative way of describing the world. Then I discuss the return of animist rituals at the Rooster-Dragon Mountain in S. Korea,as an example of a shaman revival, even though Shinto is is both a mix of revival and survival. I close on a more theoretical in tone try to get students to see the difficulty of discussing this topic given our modern worldview. This lecture tries to get students to realize that shamanism is not a ‘dead religion.’ In the last few decades, it has even been revived – just think of the so-called neo-pagans who flock to Stonehenge! So what we see today in some parts of the world is a mixture of survival and revival.

supporting documents:


Quiz with Answers

Lecture Notes