FFC 296 & 297

FFC 296
Clive Tolley, Shamanism in Norse Myth and Magic,
vol. 1
ISBN 978-951-41-1027-6 (hardback)
ISBN 978-951-41-1028-3 (paperback)

45 euros (hardback)
39 euros (paperback)

FFC 297
Clive Tolley, Shamanism in Norse Myth and Magic,
vol. 2
ISBN 978-951-41-1029-0 (hardback),
ISBN 978-951-41-1030-6 (paperback)

27 euros (hardback)
24 euros (paperback)

Volumes 1–2:
60 euros (hardback)
50 euros (paperback)

Medieval norse written sources, ranging from poems originally handed down in oral tradition from pagan times to prose sagas composed in literate Christian Iceland, as well as histories and laws, present acts of magic and initiation, performed both by humans in fictionalised histories and by gods in myths. The summoning of spirits, journeys to the otherworld, the taking of animal shape, and drumming are some of the features of these rites that have prompted many to see in pre-Christian Scandinavian practices some form of shamanism. But what exactly are the features of shamanism that are being compared? And how reliable are the Norse sources in revealing the true nature of pre-Christian practices? In this study, Clive Tolley presents the main features of Siberian shamanism, as they are relevant for comparison with Norse sources, and examines the Norse texts in detail to determine how far it is reasonable to assign a label of “shamanism” to the human and divine magical practices of pre-Christian Scandinavia, whose existence, it is argued, in many cases resides mainly in the imaginative tradition of the poets.

CLIVE TOLLEY has pursued doctoral and post-doctoral research in the universities of Oxford, Munich, London, Helsinki and Turku. After beginning his studies in classical langauge and literature, he has focused on the fields of Norse and Old English myth and literature, as well as Finno-Ugric (especially Finnish) language, myth and folklore. He has been working with Ursula Dronke on her edition of the Old Norse Poetic Edda, and his own edition of the Eddic poem Grottasongr is in press. Currently, he runs his own business, Word and Page, offering academic editorial, typesetting and translation services.

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