Was Jesus a shaman...

Click the above link to read my thesis paper for my masters program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Jesus, Shamanism, & Hellenistic Magic. In this paper I argue that based on particular Greek word choices, shamanism as a historical practice, and the cultural milieu in which events are believed to occur, that Jesus as described in the Gospel of Mark should be best understood as a Galilean shaman. The Gospel of Mark is unique not just because it is the oldest of the canonical gospels, but because Mark focuses on Jesus' ability to perform miracles and heal as proof of his divinity. Those who composed the Gospel of Mark found it important to include possible magical Aramaic words of command used during miracles that are not found in other descriptions. Shamanism offers a historical example of a tradition where similar claims to the miracles of Jesus have been reported. Rather than dismissing the miracles described in Mark in the entirety, shamanism may offer a sort of middle ground between literal historicity and modern scientific knowledge.