(noun) A religious specialist with direct access and influence over supernatural power that typically uses magic or sorcery for controlling the environment, divination or healing purposes.
Audio Pronunciation: (sha·man)
Download Audio Pronunciation: shaman.mp3
- Plural: shamans
- The difference between a shaman and a priest is that a shaman’s role is often performed part time and with direct access or control of supernatural power and a priest’s role is often full time, but lacking direct control over supernatural power, acting only as an intermediary.
- The roles of shamans and specific names for shamans (e.g. medicine man) change according to culture and society, thus a single definition cannot capture the continuum of shamans or shamanism.
- Also called:
- medicine man (medicine-man) or medicine woman (medicine-woman).
- priest doctor (priest-doctor)
- witch doctor (witch-doctor)
- A (noun) shaman practices or (verb) shamanizes (noun) shamanism using (adjective) shamanic methods.
- Religion Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “shaman” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
How to Cite the Definition of Shaman
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “shaman.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved January 20, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/shaman/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
shaman. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/shaman/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “shaman.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed January 20, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/shaman/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“shaman.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 20 Jan. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/shaman/>.