Journal article

Do shamans violate notions of humanness?

Nick Haslam

Behavioral and Brain Sciences | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2018


Singh proposes that shamans violate notions of humanness in patterned ways that signal supernatural capacities. I argue that his account, based on a notion of humanness that contrasts humans with non-human animals, does not capture people's understandings of supernatural beings. Shamanic behavior may simply violate human norms in unstructured, improvised ways rather than contrast with a coherent concept of humanness.