The Shamaness in Asia

Gender, Religion and the State

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Davide Torri, Sophie Roche
Vitality of Indigenous Religions
  • New York: 
    , October
     282 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


This book concentrates on female shamanisms in Asia and their relationship with the state and other religions, offering a perspective on gender and shamanism that has often been neglected in previous accounts.

An international range of contributors cover a broad geographical scope, ranging from Siberia to South Asia, and Iran to Japan. Several key themes are considered, including the role of bureaucratic established religions in integrating, challenging and fighting shamanic practices, the position of women within shamaniccomplexes, and perceptions of the body. Beginning with a chapter that places the shamaness at the centre of the discussion, chapters then approach these issues in a variety of ways, from historically informed accounts, to presenting the findings of extensive ethnographic research by the authors themselves.

Offering an important counterbalance to male dominated accounts of shamanism, this book will be of great interest to scholars of Indigenous Peoples across Religious Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, and Gender Studies.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Davide Torri is currently researcher at the Department of History, Anthropology, Religions, and Performing Arts at Sapienza University of Rome (Italy). In addition, he is associate member of the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (Germany) and of the Centre d’Etudes Himalayennes of the CNRS (France). He is also Secretary of the ISARS (International Society for the Academic Research on Shamanism).

Sophie Roche is a research associate and lecturer at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She is the author of The Faceless Terrorist: A Study of Critical Events in Tajikistan (2019).


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