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"Michael Winkelman's revised Shamanism breaks new ground in our understanding of the origins of religion, and the qualities that uniquely make us human. Drawing from evolutionary psychology, he shows how religious ceremonies evolved out of earlier, pre-human systems of ritual communication; how these 'costly displays' are adaptively beneficial; and how healing responses can be induced from shamanistic states of consciousness. The result is essential reading for anyone interested in shamanism, human evolution, the origin of religion, and traditional healing practices." -- David S. Whitley, author of Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit: The Origin of Creativity and Belief "This important book examines the nature of shamanism, humanity's oldest and universal expression of religiosity, from fascinating fresh perspectives. It shows consciousness to derive from a blending of bodily, neurological, social and environmental interactions, and the altered mind states of shamanism, specifically, to be adaptations of these causing ancient and modern parts of the brain to function in an integrated manner allowing nonverbal, symbolic and metaphorical mental content to be experienced directly in immersive ways, such as in 'shamanic flight' - the so-called out-of-body experience. The book touches on a considerable range of related topics such as healing, the effects of music on the brain, and, most importantly, it explores how the development of shamanic rituals was a key factor in human evolution." -- Paul Devereux, founding co-editor, Time and Mind - The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture "Michael Winkelman's revised volume on shamanism has replaced Mircea Eliade's classic text as the most authoritative and innovative book on the topic. Taking an evolutionary approach to the nature and functions of shamanic practices, Winkelman demonstrates not only their adaptive functions, but that their study must be central to any comprehensive explanation of humanity's origins and development." -- Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Saybrook University Co-author, Personal Mythology; co-editor, Mysterious Minds: The Neurobiology of Psychics, Mediums, and Other Remarkable People "The second edition of Winkelman's Shamanism is even better than the first edition. It offers a rare perspective that balances the cultural and neuropsychological aspects of the subject. It is a must read for any serious student of shamanism or the evolution of religious systems." -- Charles D. Laughlin, Ph.D. , Emeritus professor of anthropology, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Carleton University, and co-author of Brain, Symbol, and Experience: Toward a Neurophenomenology of Consciousness

About the Author

Michael Winkelman, PhD, is developing permaculture-based sustainable communities in the central highlands of Goias, Brazil.


"Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty." - Choice

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