Posts Tagged ‘anthropology’

Greenwood’s Anthropological Study of Magic

British anthropologist Susan Greenwood is interviewed at Pagans for Archaeology about her new book, The Anthropology of Magic. In this new book I have taken that argument further and related it to a classical anthropological debate on mystical mentality; and I have also explored the nature of reality in relation to an inspirited world, developing […]

Drumming to Save Their Lives

On the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s Far East (across from Alaska), indigenous people are engaged in a work of cultural survival. “Everyone of my generation speaks the Koryak language, knows the customs, dances, dishes like in the ancient times. But some of our children don’t know anything at all,” said folk performer Lidia Chechulina, slightly […]

Dionysus, Jesus, Castaneda

After watching the BBC take on anthropologist – novelist – sorcerer Carlos Castaneda, M. and I rented another documentary about him. Enigma of a Sorcerer was released in 2002. It is available through Netflix, but it is only for the hardcore student of neo-shamanism as phenomenon. Since it is only a collection of interviews (including […]

The most controversial anthropologist

One episode of a BBC series called Tales from the Jungle on famous anthropologists examines the “shamanthropologist” Carlos Castaneda (d. 1998), appropriately described as the most controversial anthropologist ever. For those of us who can’t watch the Beeb, it is available in segments from YouTube. There are also episodes on Bronislaw Malinowski and Margaret Mead. […]

Episodic Religiosity

Cultural anthropologist Harvey Whitehouse divides modes of religiosity into “episodic” and “doctrinal.” One relies on dramatic ritual experiences, the other on creeds, sermons, texts, exposition, etc. In his book Arguments and Icons: Divergent Modes of Religiosity, he writes that in small, tribal, or breakaway groups, “religious life is focused around very infrequent, traumatic ritual episodes.” […]