Shamanism Prophets & Cults Barkun’s Article
Shamanism n n A technique not a religion Shaman- a religious specialist existing within many different religouos & cultural contexts. n Shamans have the ability to enter a trance state in order to communicate with and appease “spirits” for healing, fertility, protection, aggression, & to act as a guide to the souls.
Defining Features n n n n Initiatory crisis Vision quest Ordeals or experiences of dismemberment & regeneration Spirit flight Mastery of worlds (lower, middle, & upper) Abiltiy to enter ecstatic trance Healer & intermediary
Regions & Origins n n Artic & Sub-Artic, Australia, Africa, Borneo, South America, & Meso-America. Origins of Shamanism: n Stone Age n n Neanderthals Archaeological evidence n The Celts, as a basic universal religion
Arctic Shamanism n The Five-Point Definition n n The Shaman is a master/mistress of spirits Has a group of spirits under control Complex methods & paraphernalia recognized & transmitted Theoretical justification of the practice Shamans assume a special social position
Arctic Shamanism n Control the Spirits n n The Trance Séance n n n Control the spirits that inhabit the seen & unseen worlds & that affect life, health & fertility of the world Main focus Low key vs. Major ceremony The Shamanic Calling The Shamanic Career Shamanic Regalia
Shamanism in the Industrialized West n Carlos Castañeda and Don Juan n Michael Harner & the Foundation for Shamanic Studies n Shamanic Counseling
Reflections After Wacco: Millennialists and the State By M. Barkun
Reflections After Wacco n n Federal Officials’ mistake “An Island of Enlightenment in a Sea or Error” Millenarian beliefs Police generalization
Reflections After Wacco n Term “Cult” n 2 dangerous effects 1. 2. n It hindered efforts to understand the movement A network of “cult experts” arose to combat cults Result of authorities’ confrontations n n Millenarians have a “script” Leader’s charisma as Key
Reflections After Wacco n Other U. S. communal groups n n n “Post tribulationist” theology Reign of the Antichrist “Aryans” Christian Identity Movement n n White Supremacist right Conclusion Government responsibility n Who decides if a group is dangerous? n Should cults be monitored and handled differently? n
New Religions: The Cult Question Film on issues surrounding cults
New Religions: The Cult Question n Various cults worldwide Psychologists views on “mind control” Church Universal n n n ICC- International Church of Christ Scientology Life of Cabernacle Church
Quiz II Shamanism & Cults- Class Activity Shamanismn What is a shaman and how does she/he get their powers? What powers do shamans have? n Compare and contrast a list of various shamans through the world. Describe their rituals and tools. CULTSn Does mind control really exist? n What are some warning signs that a religious movement may be a cult? n Should the authorities have a stricter control on monitoring religious movements? n Are cults really dangerous?