Heusch, Luc de

Heusch, Luc de (1927– ) – Professor of anthropology at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium. Following Mircea Eliade’s categorical distinction between shamanism as “mastery of spirits” and possession as “being controlled by spirits,” Heusch presented them as opposing moves: the “ascent of man to the gods” versus the “descent of the gods on (and into) man.” From this, he elaborated a “geometry of the soul” that deserves consideration as a religious text, but not as an appraisal of ethnographic data about the real life and work of shamans.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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