Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy
Translated from the French by Willard R. Trask
With a new foreword by Wendy Doniger
First published in 1951, Shamanism soon became the standard work in the study of this mysterious and fascinating phenomenon. Writing as the founder of the modern study of the history of religion, Romanian émigré--scholar Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) surveys the practice of Shamanism over two and a half millennia of human history, moving from the Shamanic traditions of Siberia and Central Asia--where Shamanism was first observed--to North and South America, Indonesia, Tibet, China, and beyond. In this authoritative survey, Eliade illuminates the magico-religious life of societies that give primacy of place to the figure of the Shaman--at once magician and medicine man, healer and miracle-doer, priest, mystic, and poet. Synthesizing the approaches of psychology, sociology, and ethnology, Shamanism will remain for years to come the reference book of choice for those intrigued by this practice.
Born in Bucharest in 1907, Mircea Eliade was for many years Sewell L. Avery Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago. He is author of, among other books, Images and Symbols: Studies in Religious Symbolism, Myth of the Eternal Return, and Yoga: Immortality and Freedom (all Princeton). Wendy Doniger is Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago. Her books include The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade, The Implied Spider, and Splitting the Difference: Gender and Myth in Ancient Greece and India. Her translations of such texts as The Rig Veda, The Law of Manu, and the Kamasutra have garnered wide praise.