Magical healings, ghostly encounters and alternative perceptions of reality have been a part of the history and culture of America since the settlement. Providing historical research to support personal narratives and field interviews, WKU Associate Professor and Librarian Jack Montgomery takes the reader into a largely hidden community that has its ancient roots in the African, German and Celtic cultures and is still active today despite the presence of our modern post-industrial society.
The research for this book actually began while Jack was a student at the University of South Carolina in the mid-1970s. As part of his senior thesis in Religious Studies, Jack conducted interviews with traditional magical healers in South Carolina, and eventually also included healers in Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Virginia. This research led to a thirty-four year fascination with folk religion, magical healing and shamanism. It is also an account of one manâ€™s spiritual journey into the depths of American folk religion that includes elements of shamanism and applied mysticism.
In 2002, Jack secured a book contract. The result is American Shamans: journeys with traditional healers published by BUSCA Press and released in February of 2008.