Page 11 - Shamanism
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especially, its connection to healing and the extraordinary spiritual adventures that enlarge the 
sense of oneself and the world.

Both Walter and Fridman specialize in the study of Central Asia, which holds a special place for 
the understanding of shamanism. And yet their collaboration for this project began on the other 

side of the globe, at Harvard University, where both scholars served as fellows at the Harvard Uni- 
versity Center for the Study of World Religions. As director of the Harvard Center from 1990 to 
2003, I saw their irst outline for the project and have followed their developing plans. I remain 

impressed by their open-architecture approach to the subject, an openness that allows them to be- 
gin with broad working deinitions so as to include within the encyclopedia the full press of con- 

licting opinions about the nature and signiicance of shamanism. And I remain impressed as well 
with their thorough knowledge of the subject, beginning with their linguistic abilities, which lets 

them work not only in Western European and Central Asian languages but in Russian, Chinese, 
and Japanese as well. Their complete familiarity with shamanism extends from their own field 

work to their control of the historical and anthropological literature on the subject. Their unusual 
capacities and dedication have produced a wonderful work well suited to the new realizations 

about shamanism. No doubt this encyclopedia will benefit all interested readers and serve as a 
spark for further exploration of one of humankind’s richest spiritual heritages.

Lawrence E. Sullivan
Professor of the History of Religions 

The University of Notre Dame 
14 September 2004

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