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About us Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies Organization Staff PhD Research Comparative Study of Religion

Stefan Mekiffer

Shamanic Healing and Strategies for its Ontological Rationalisation by Practitioners in Contemporary Europe
Drums

My research is about the metaphysical concepts that contemporary shamanic practitioners adhere to. More specifically, I would like to find out how shamanic practitioners understand spirits and the role they play in the shamanic healing sessions that are today being offered throughout Europe.

While most shamanic practitioners claim that it is not them but the spirits who perform the healing, it is not always clear what precisely this entails. Are spirits conceived to be purely psychological phenomena, or are they assumed to exist independently from the observer and have agency on their own? Which roles and limits in the healing process are they assigned to? How are spiritual entities understood to conduct physical healing interventions? What epistemological status is knowledge of them considered to have? Which ontological premises do these explanations entail?

Answers to these and other questions are collected from interviews with and monographs by practitioners, and I intend to structure and compare them to spirit conceptions from the history of European thought. How have previous thinkers dealt with these questions, and how do contemporary practitioners refer to their approaches? This way I hope to get a more coherent picture of this rapidly evolving set of spiritual techniques and the way it relates to European traditions.

Laatst gewijzigd:20 november 2019 19:28