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Tribal Cultures

Traditional Maori Proverbs

1997 paper by Paul Moon notes absence of mythic personification in Maori folk sayings.


Shamanism & Exorcism

From Demoniacal Possession to Insanity

Chapter 15 in A. D. White's Warfare of Science with Theology (1896) compares the religious concept & treatment of "lunacy" with the development of modern approaches to mental disorder.

Exorcism in the Orthodox Church

Official explanation of traditional Eastern Christian rituals to ward off evil spirits & the evil eye (posted by Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America).

An Exorcism in Zambia

Award winning essay by Peace Corps volunteer Guy W. Volk provides eye-witness description of native ritual to free a woman tormented by spirits of the dead.

Foundation for Shamanic Studies

Website of anthropologist Michael Harner's institute to preserve & research shamanism posts articles on spirits & healing.

Giving the Devil His Due: Exorcism, Psychotherapy and the Possession Syndrome

Psychotherapist Stephen Diamond analyzes the persistent fascination with demon possession and concludes that true healing requires the spiritual dimension of existence (archived by Psychology Today).   

The Incantor

Estonian researcher Aado Lintrop's studies in Siberian shamanism & the religions of the Finno-Ugrian peoples builds a cyber-bridge between the visible & invisible worlds of Nganasan rites & initiatory visions.

Jewish Exorcism

Rabbi Jeffrey Dennis surveys the history & practice of exorcism in Judaism from David to modern times.


Hyperlinked index to classic anthropological studies of the theories & practices of ancient indigenous cultures (Internet Sacred Text Archive).

Shamanism: General Overview

Dean Edwards' plain vanilla FAQ sheet provides definitions & detailed bibliographical leads for researchers.

Spirit Possession & Exorcism

Select passages from classic Jewish, pagan, and Christian sources in English translation & original languages (Into His Own: Perspective on the World of Jesus).


Description of spirit possession and its treatment in African & eastern Mediterranean cultures (Wikipedia).



Jewish Magic Bibliography

Archive of Scott Noegel's exhaustive bibliography of Jewish magic in the classical world. (U of Washington).

Traditions of Magic in Late Antiquity

U of Michigan Library's curator Gideon Bohak presents a guided tour of an exhibit of Greco-Roman magical artifacts including recipe books, amulets, Babylonian demon bowls & cursing/binding tablets.



Are the Gospels Mythical?

René Girard contrasts the gospel stories of Jesus execution to mimetic myths of sacrificial victims (First Things, Dec 1996).

The Practice of Human Sacrifice

Mike Parker-Pearson surveys instances of taking/giving a human life for a "greater cause" from prehistoric to modern times (BBC History).

Child Sacrifice

M'hamed Fatar, Lawrence Stager & Joseph Greene debate the claim that child sacrifice was practiced in Punic Carthage & other Phoenician sites.

Human Sacrifice in Myths and Legends

D. L. Ashliman's collection of excerpts from folklore features accounts from Germany & Scandanavia.  

The Rig Veda

PRF Brown posts three Vedic hymns including the mythic slaughter of the primal being.

John Calvin: Institutes of Christian Religion 4.18

16th c. Protestant reformer's argument against the interpretation of the Christian Eucharist as a sacrifice distinguishes the Lord's Supper from the sacrifices of the Mosaic Torah & eucharist from propitiation.

The Mystery of Faith Regarding the August Sacrament & Sacrifice of the Body & Blood of Christ

Complete cyber-text of 1919 treatise by Maurice de la Taille, S. J. supporting theses that the Mass is a real propitiatory sacrifice ordained by God. 

Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologiae

13th c. Dominican's dialectical treatment of religious issues includes the following questions: Is sacrifice natural or necessary? Was Christ's passion a sacrifice? Is Christ sacrificed in the Eucharist? [posted by New Advent].


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This page was revised 28 January 2023


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