Shamanisms and the authenticity of religious experience


  • Susannah Crockford



Shamanism, Experience, Authenticity


Shamanic practices and practitioners in western countries are often derided as 'inauthentic' by both scholars and members of indigenous communities. The experience derived from such practices is therefore also implied to be contrived. This paper analyses shamanism in the UK as part of 'western shamanism' rather than 'neo-shamanism'. Western shamanism is understood to be a valid religious tradition found in Europe and America that is based on western cultural and religious traditions. The concept of authenticity is critically examined as a cultural construct, and the validity of a religious experience is located subjectively.

Author Biography

  • Susannah Crockford
    University of Cambridge MA University of Amsterdam MA CCFS (Sorbonne), Paris


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How to Cite

Crockford, S. (2011). Shamanisms and the authenticity of religious experience. Pomegranate, 12(2), 139-158.