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The Beauty of the PrimitiveShamanism and Western Imagination$
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Andrei A. Znamenski

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172317

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172317.001.0001

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(p.363) Epilogue
The Beauty of the Primitive

Andrei A. Znamenski

Oxford University Press

This epilogue looks at the growing popularity of the shamanism idiom and the correlation with the emergence of neo-shamanism to anti-modern sentiments in Western intellectual culture. Since the 1960s, Western academics and spiritual seekers have increasingly questioned the modes of thinking associated with the Enlightenment and, more broadly, with the Western tradition in general. More often than not, this tradition is viewed as devoid of spiritual and ecological values. In some respects, the present rise of anti-modernism in the West is a reminder of the Romanticism movement in Europe in the early 19th century, the first reaction to the advances of the Enlightenment. In fact, much of anti-modernism in current humanities and many ideas popular in nature spiritualities can be traced to Romantic writers and philosophers. Like their intellectual predecessors, modern Western seekers and many academics crusade against materialistic science and lament the emptiness of modern Western life, looking to non-European traditions and to European antiquity for spiritual feedback. This line of thought that is critical of modernity has been visibly present in Western tradition since the age of the Enlightenment.

Keywords:   shamanism, neo-shamanism, anti-modernism, intellectual culture, Enlightenment

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