Persephone's Quest


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Entheogens and the Origins of Religion

R. Gordon Wasson, Stella Kramrisch, A. P. Ruck, and Jonathan Ott

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Price: $26.00
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This fascinating book discusses the role played by psychoactive mushrooms in the religious rituals of ancient Greece, Eurasia, and Mesoamerica. R. Gordon Wasson, an internationally known ethnomycologist who was one of the first to investigate how these mushrooms were venerated and employed by different native peoples, here joins with three other scholars to discuss the evidence for his discoveries about these fungi, which he has called entheogens, or "god generated within."

"[This book] is the pious meditation of an inspired devotee, a religious book in the deepest sense, the credo of a passionate initiate, indeed a convert. . . . A delightful book to read. . . . [It] may take its rightful place in the long chain of imaginative meditations on the magic plant of immortality."—Wendy Doniger, Times Literary Supplement

"Discusses the role of psychoactive fungi in the religious rituals of ancient Greece, Eurasia, and Mesoamerica: the fungi are referred to as `entheogens,’ meaning `god generated within.’"—Nina C. Ayoub, Chronicle of Higher Education

"A fitting last work from Wasson, embodying as it does all of the contradictions and quirks of this eccentric man and his colorful career. Wasson was an intrepid traveler, a daring explorer, and a scrappy amateur who outraged as well as challenged professional academics. His real contributions to ethnobotany and ethnomycology were considerable."—Andrew Weil, M.D., Journal of Psychoactive Drugs

"A joyriding academic romp that starts with Wasson’s own religious experience in the hills of Pennsylvania, this book will capture undergraduate imaginations."—William Harmon, Religious Studies Review

"It is saddening to realize that these will be the last [essays] in Wasson’s brilliant series."—Weston LaBarre, Journal of Ethnobiology
ISBN: 9780300052664
Publication Date: July 29, 1992
257 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4