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date: 16 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article offers a brief account of the processes of world-view, particularly in selected representatives of the ‘ancient matrix’, and indicates how they may change as the second and third of Michail Bakhtin's phases impact upon them. The forms of religion found in hunter-gatherer societies of the ‘ancient matrix’ are commonly described as ‘shamanic’. Although they vary considerably in form and function, such cultures share several key attributes in common. Members of the society participate in a common understanding or world-view from which they draw an understanding of themselves in relation to their perception of the universe. Shamans usually have a deep knowledge of natural history and/or a sensitive appreciation of their social system and the personal tendencies of community members. Interpretation of social conflict on a ‘cosmological’ level removed from actual social process amounts to an appeal to a neutral world transcending actual interpersonal conflict or sickness.

Keywords: world-view, ancient matrix, Michail Bakhtin, religion, cultures, shamans, universe, social system

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