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Dödens lian som livlina: en religionspsykologisk studie av ayahuascaanvändning som religiös copingstrategi
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The psychedelic brew Ayahuasca is increasingly used in both traditional and modern ways tofind meaning and reduce stress in a religious context. The aim of this paper is to examine theexperiences of the users of Ayahuasca from a perspective of coping in the field of psychologyof religion, and to determine if it is possible to identify coping mechanisms, stressors and significancein some stories of Ayahuasca usage, and also identify moments where the copingthrough ayahuasca has failed. The goal is to determine whether Ayahuasca is used as a copingstrategy. The approach of the paper is phenomenological and the study is based on stories ofthe users of ayahuasca. This paper applies the coping theory as it is presented in Pargament(1997). The material consists of two contemporary books on Ayahuasca containing descriptionsof the user’s experiences; one from a traditional perspective (Campos, 2011) and anotherfrom a modern (Metzner, 2006). The conclusion is that it is possible to view the Ayahuascaexperience through a coping theoretical perspective, and that the primary coping mechanismthat was manifested in the material was that of the transformative mechanism. This could relateto the very radical nature of the Ayahuasca experience itself. The stressors found inMetzner (2006) tend to focus on internal and psychological stressors, while in Campos (2011)these were more often external, such as disease. This might be because of the availability ofhealth care in the lives of the people in Metzner (2006), and that they therefore shift their focusinwardly. The paper also suggests a broadening of the model of four methods of coping inPargament (1997), in order to be able to include the very somatic coping that the Ayahuascaexperience points to.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 41 p.
Keyword [en]
ayahuasca, coping, transformation, psychedelics, psychology of religion
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-192517OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-192517DiVA: diva2:596193
Subject / course
Psychology of religion
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2013-01-23 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-01-23Bibliographically approved

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