Altering Consciousness: Multidisciplinary Perspectives [2 Volumes]

Front Cover
Etzel Cardeņa, Michael J. Winkelman
Bloomsbury Academic, May 18, 2011 - Medical - 840 pages

This authoritative, multidisciplinary overview of altered states of consciousness (ASC) shows how their study is necessary to gain a fundamental understanding of human culture, history, and biology.
Altered consciousness is one of humanity's most mystical and life-altering aspects. These remarkable changes in mental state have understandably been a topic of general interest and scientific inquiry across time. Beyond simply satisfying our curiosity, however, studies focused upon altered consciousness can also bring valuable insights into our experience, biology, and culture.

This unprecedented two-volume set will intrigue anyone interested in psychology, biology and neurology, science, history, arts and the humanities, and literature on consciousness, from general readers to scholars and researchers. An impressive collection of international contributors address altered states of consciousness from the perspectives of history, evolution, psychology, culture, literature, human biology, contemporary science, and society, seeking to illuminate the causes, effects, and meanings of altered consciousness. The first volume provides an introduction and centers on the importance of altered states in history, culture, and the humanities, while the second volume presents biological and psychological perspectives on altered consciousness and examines their potential for healing and pathology.

  • Contains various illustrations in the two volumes
  • Presents a bibliography of representative references to the literature on altered states across various disciplines and languages
  • Provides convenient cross-referencing of subjects across chapters

About the author (2011)

Etzel Cardeņa, PhD, holds the endowed Thorsen Chair of Psychology at Lund University, Lund, Sweden.Michael Winkelman, MPH, PhD, retired from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, in 2009 and currently lives in the central highlands of Brazil where he is developing permaculture-based intentional communities. MICHAEL WINKELMAN is Senior Lecturer & Director, Ethnographic Field School, Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University.

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