Microbes and Other Shamanic Beings

Shamanism is commonly understood through reference to spirits and souls. However, these terms were introduced by Christian missionaries as part of the colonial effort of conversion. So, rather than trying to comprehend shamanism through medieval European concepts, this book examines it through ideas...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Giraldo Herrera, César E.
Format: Electronic Book
Language:English
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Published: Cham Palgrave Macmillan 2018
In:Year: 2018
Series/Journal:SpringerLink Bücher
Springer eBook Collection Social Sciences
Further subjects:B Social Sciences
B Human Geography
B Religion and culture
B History
B Physical anthropology
B Social Medicine
Online Access: Volltext (lizenzpflichtig)
Parallel Edition:Erscheint auch als: 978-3-319-71317-5
Printed edition: 9783319713175
Description
Summary:Shamanism is commonly understood through reference to spirits and souls. However, these terms were introduced by Christian missionaries as part of the colonial effort of conversion. So, rather than trying to comprehend shamanism through medieval European concepts, this book examines it through ideas that started developing in the West after encountering Amerindian shamans. Microbes and other Shamanic Beings develops three major arguments: First, since their earliest accounts Amerindian shamanic notions have had more in common with current microbial ecology than with Christian religious beliefs. Second, the human senses allow the unaided perception of the microbial world; for example, entoptic vision allows one to see microscopic objects flowing through the retina and shamans employ techniques that enhance precisely these kinds of perception. Lastly, the theory that some diseases are produced by living agents acquired through contagion was proposed right after Contact in relation to syphilis, an important subject of pre-Contact Amerindian medicine and mythology, which was treasured and translated by European physicians. Despite these early translations, the West took four centuries to rediscover germs and bring microbiology into mainstream science. Giraldo Herrera reclaims this knowledge and lays the fundaments for an ethnomicrobiology. It will appeal to anyone curious about shamanism and willing to take it seriously and to those enquiring about the microbiome, our relations with microbes and the long history behind them
1. Colonising and decolonising ontologies -- Part 1: Amerindian shamanism -- 2. (Mis)Understanding shamanism and animism -- 3. First contacts with Amerindian shamans and their “spirits” -- 4. Syncretic ontologies of the microbial-masters of game -- Part 2: Shamanic microscopy, perceiving cellular souls and microbial spirits -- 5. Shamanic epistemologies -- 6. Neuropsychological naturalistic explanations of shamanic visions -- 7. The cavern of the eye: seeing through the retina -- 8. Entoptic microscopy -- Part 3: Biosocial Ethnohistory of Syphilis and Related Diseases -- 9. French malaise in the Taíno myths of origin -- 10. The spotted Sun and the blemished Moon, Nahuatl views on treponematoses -- 11. The West, Syphilis and the other treponematoses -- 12. Threading worlds together
ISBN:3319713183
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-71318-2