162. Gellnerovský seminář: Shamanism and Human Nature

Česká asociace pro sociální antropologii a Česká sociologická společnost ve spolupráci s Institutem sociologických studií Fakulty sociálních věd UK
Vás srdečně zvou na


v úterý 26. září 2017 od 17:30 hod
na Fakultě sociálních věd Univerzity Karlovy Praha 1, Smetanovo nábřeží 6 (Hollar), místnost 115

(za zapůjčení místnosti velice děkujeme Institutu komunikačních studií a  žurnalistiky FSV UK)


Michael Winkelman, Ph.D.

School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Arizona State University

Na téma

Shamanism and Human Nature

The concept of shamanism has a long history of been applied to spiritual and religious practices in societies around the world. Worldwide similarities in shamanistic practices suggest that are not results of local factors, but rather constitute a phenomena with a basis in factors fundamental to human nature. This talk elaborates on the principles of shamanism revealed by cross-cultural research, using these shamanic features to identify the ancient biological bases of this phenomena. Features such as collective rituals, alterations of consciousness and experiences of the spirit world reflect evolved principles of the brain that facilitated the adaptations of ancient humans and their societies. These same principles are still part of human nature today, features of the operation of consciousness and our nervous system. Consequently the dynamics of shamanism continues to have important implications for human well-being, being applied in healing, addictions treatment and personal development.

Michael Winkelman, Ph.D. (University of California-Irvine 1985) retired from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University in 2009. He was Presidentof the Anthropology of Consciousness section of the American Anthropological Association, as was the founding President of its Anthropology of Religion Section. Winkelman has engaged in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research on shamanism, psychedelics and altered states of consciousness, focusing principally on the universal patterns of shamanism and identifying the associated biological bases. His principal publications on shamanism include Shamans, Priests and Witches (1992) which provides a cross-cultural examination of the nature of shamanism; and Shamanism: A Biopsychosocial Paradigm of Consciousness and Healing (originally 2000, 2nd edition 2010). Shamanism provides a biogenetic model of shamanism that explains the evolutionary origins of spiritual healing in ancient ritual capacities. This biogenetic structuralist approach is expanded in an assessment of the evolutionary origins of religion in his co-authored Supernatural as Natural (with John Baker, 2008). These approaches provide a framework for understanding the necessary role of psychedelics in human evolution and their continued application in healing (also see Psychedelic Medicine [2007], co-edited with Tom Roberts). Winkelman’s work has shown that shamanism and psychedelics have a deep intersection in human evolution; these capacities for altering consciousness continue to be an important part of human experience and well-being today. Winkelman is currently living near Pirenopolis in the central highlands of Brazil where he is engaged in developing permaculture-based intentional communities