Dr. David Armstrong earned his PhD from the University of Southern California. He has a MA in Comparative Religion from York University, Canada and was a member of the archaeological expedition to Tel Megiddo, Israel.
1998 0-7734-8360-8 Alcohol has been the means to induce altered states of consciousness in many religious contexts. This book is the first to examine how alcohol-based trance states can be a feature of ancestor veneration practices. Two cases are explored in detail. In the first, alcohol is established as the trigger which induced a state of spirit mediumship in the Zhou dynasty Chinese Personator of the Dead. In the second case, the Ugaritic and Iron Age Palestinian marzeah is revealed as a descent to the dead induced by alcohol consumption. Principal sources are Chinese odes, histories and ritual texts, Ugaritic Texts and Biblical prophetic literature. Archaeological evidence also contributes to understanding these two rituals in their cultural contexts.