Origins of Religion
- Many theories about how religion began propose that shamanism is the earliest religion of humanity. This is rooted in the notion that hunter-gatherer societies are closest to the first human cultural groups and that such groups are more truly shamanic than urban dwelling or settled gardening societies. Mircea Eliade’s definitions of shamanism as “the archaic techniques of ecstasy” and of “authentic shamanism as the preserve of hunter-gatherers” (in contrast with allegedly degenerate forms found among peoples with other subsistence patterns) misleadingly enshrine these notions in wider imagination.
Historical dictionary of shamanism. Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis. 2007.
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