Introduction The primary objective of this paper is to define the African traditional religious system as the basis of understanding Christian spiritual warfare within an African context. This background is essential to any application of Christian spirituality in Africa. For this reason, the paper serves only as an introduction to the application of Christian spirituality in Africa.
A poorly understood, fascinating, and useful ancient universal role If one is to adequately understand shamanism and discuss it meaningfully, then one must use a definition which indicates a cross-culturally comparable religious phenomenon, just as the term shaman must indicate a cross-culturally comparable religious functionary.
This is a work-in-progress and many of the ideas expressed here are subject to change.
In all human societies there exist individuals whose job it is to guide and supplement the religious practices of others.
Such individuals are highly skilled at contacting and influencing supernatural beings and manipulating supernatural forces. Their qualification for this is that they have undergone special training.
In societies with the resources to support full-time occupational specialists, the role of guiding religious practices and influencing the supernaturals belongs to the priestess or priest.
Societies that lack full time occupational specialization have existed far longer than those in which one finds such specialization, and in them there have alwyas been indvidiuals who have acquired religious power individually, usually in solitude and isolation, when the "Great Spirit," the "Power," the "Great Mystery," or whatever is revealed to them.
These persons become the recipients of certain special gifts, such as healing or divination; when they return to society they are frequently given another kind of religious role, that of the shaman.
In the United States and in certain areas of western Europe perhaps millions of people may have learned something about shamans through reading either Examine the characteristics of mystical and conversion experiences essay popular autobiograpy of Black Elk, a "traditional" Sioux Indian "medicine man," or Carlos Castaneda's apparently fictional accounts of his experiences with Don Juan, the Yaqui Indian shaman.
In Siberian Tungustic the word is "saman", meaning "one who is excited, moved, raised," and refers to individuals who, while in a trance state, visit the realm of mystical beings to communicate with them and in the process gain mystical power.
The principal functions of the Siberian shaman are guiding the dead to the afterworld, acting as a medium between the living and the dead, and finding out from the mystical beings what is ailing a patient or what the right medicine is.
Shamanism among the Tungus does not involve the power to cure a particular illness, but rather only determines the cause of the malady.
In this respect, the Tungusic shaman is a medical diagnostician rather than a healer. As anthropologists gained a better cross-cultural perspective concerning shamans, the term shaman was broaded to encompass a number of different types of specialists including medicine women and men, diviners, spiritualists, palm readers, and magicians found throughout the world who are generally believed to have access to mystical beings whom they contact on behalf of their clients.
Most, but not all, contact their mystical beings while in an altered state of consciousness brought on by smoking, taking drugs, rhythmic drumming, chanting, or monotonous dancing. While in the trance, the shaman becomes a medium or spokesperson for one or more mystical beings, a feature of shamanism in non-Western societies which finds parallels in the activities of professional channelers in the United States and western Europe who also speak on behalf of mystical beings for their paid clients.
One of the earliest comprehensive studies of shamanism was Mircea Eliade'a Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstacy.
According to Eliade the shaman is a specialist in archaic techniques of ecstasy. He notes, for example, that shamans among Siberia and central Asian societies possess certain psychological features and capacities that render them apt for ecstasy -- for going outside themselves, i. While Eliade's description of shamanism stresses ecstasy and the shaman's ability to go into a trance and travel to the realm of the sacred powers, other scholars interpret shamanism more loosely.
For example, in constract to the ecstatic-trance state of the northeast Asian arctic shaman, some religious functionaries give guidance by taking in a spirit, that is, rather than going to the spirits, the spirits come to them. This is the case for much of the shamanism in China and Japan where shamans typically sing songs and go into a trance as a way of being temporarily inhabited or possessed.
During the possession, the shaman performs divinations, discerning what the spirits want or what the future will require. And frequently Japanese shamans will band together and walk a regular route through their local villages, offering personal advice and medical healing.
Andreas Lommel, in his work on shamanism Shamanism: The Beginnings of Artdraws a distinction between a medicine person and a shaman, noting that the future shaman acts under an inner compulsion They served as mediators between the sacred and profane worlds.
And like Siberian shamans, shamans among Native Californian societies went in "magical fight" to gain mystical power knowledge about the universe.
This power was then used by the shaman to aid the souls of the deceased in their journey to the land of the dead, to relay instructions from the mystical world on proper life-styles in the here and now, and to diagnostic and cure illness. The Carmodys, in their text Ways to the Center: An Introduction to World Religionsoffer the following omnibus definition of a shaman: One who is a specialist in ancient techniques of ecstacy.
The shaman normally is a functionary for a nonliterate community, serving as its healer, intermediary with the gods, guide of the souls of the dead to their rest, and custodian of traditional tribal lore.
The typical shaman comes to this role through either heredity or having manifested idiosyncratic traits epilepsy, sexual ambiguity, poetic sensitivity, dramatic dreams. Psychologically, shamans depend on an ability to function in two worlds, the ordinary reality of daily life and the extraordinary reality they encounter through their ecstatic journeys.
From various cultural anthropology textbooks come the following definitions of a shaman: These powers are used for healing, divining, and telling forturnes during times of stress, usually in exchange for gifts or fees.
Shaman is a general term encompassing curers "witch doctors"mediums, spiritualists, astrologers, palm readers, and other diviners.Examine the Characteristics of Mystical and Conversion Experiences Essay Examine the main characteristics of conversion and mystical experiences Sean Reece Grange Two well-known categories of religious experience are Conversion and Mystical experiences.
Here are sermons by many famous preachers on the subject of the resurrection of Christ.
The spiritual should serve by gently rebuking the weak and modeling responsibility for the corporate body of Christ (). The congregation should exercise its liberty by loving all people, but especially other believers ().
Examine The Main Charecteristics Of Visions And Of Mystical Experiances Search. Search Results. Examine Both The Main Characteristics Of Both Visions And Conversion Experiences Examine the main characteristics of both visions and conversion experiences (30 marks) Visions and conversions are both a type of religious experience.
The common characteristics of conversion are those on which I would like to focus in the conversion of Saul. Characteristics of Conversion (1) Saul’s salvation was the salvation of a sinner. When you share your Christian testimony, you go beyond the field of knowledge into the realm of relationship with God.
Steps to Writing Your Personal Testimony These steps are designed to help you write your Christian testimony.