Conference: The Globalization of Ayahuasca at the Institute of Medical Psychology, University of Heidelberg

Henrik Jungaberle

The conference “The Internationalization of Ayahuasca” combined discussions about emic and etic perspectives on Ayahuasca. Participants debated about the status of this Amazonian brew as it continued its expansion throughout the world.

The picture above was taken on a field trip. Henrik Jungaberle visited the Ecuadorian Shipibo shaman who facilitated Ayahuasca ceremonies all over Europe. This research relationship lasted for seven years (starting in 2002).

“Academia meets Ayahuasca groups “

Bridges and gaps on the conference “Globalization of Ayahuasca”

The DFG-financed study “RISA” was part of the Collaborative Special Research Area 619 Ritual Dynamics. Over the course of 11 years, it created a number of conferences on topics as diverse as the ritualization of drug use, the state of psychedelic therapy at the time, and the ways that modern humans made use of a South American psychedelic concoction that became popular under the name Ayahuasca.

In 2007 we invited groups that used the Amazonian psychedelic Ayahuasca in different contexts and on the background of diverse traditions. The conference provided a space for the “local” perspectives of syncretistic Brazilian Ayahuasca groups like Santo Daime and Uniao do Vegetal, and confronted them with the ideas and worldviews of psychotherapists who applied the brew in workshop-like settings, providers of neo-shamanic workshops, and psychonautic users of the tea. This emic view from within diverse traditions was confronted with an etic perspective by researchers who threw an outside, comparative, or natural science glance at the phenomenon. At that time the conference was one of the first attempts – or even the first – to speak with Ayahuasca practitioners and not only to them in the context of a Medical University Institute.

Together with my then colleague Bia Labate, who worked in the team of my RISA project, I organized and moderated the two-day event and afterwards created an edited book with the title “The Internationalization of Ayahuasca“. In this book, an even larger number of perspectives on the phenomenon were contrasted – including juridical developments in different countries and the pharmacology of ayahuasca (at that time).

The gallery below shows speakers, organizers, and some participants of the 2008 conference “The Internationalization of Ayahuasca”. The two-day conference was organized by Henrik Jungaberle and his team at the Institute of Medical Psychology, University Hospital Heidelberg. It was part of the Collaborative Research Area 619 Ritual Dynamics.

The gallery below shows speakers, organizers, and some participants of the 2008 conference “The Internationalization of Ayahuasca”. The two-day conference was organized by Henrik Jungaberle and his team at the Institute of Medical Psychology, University Hospital Heidelberg. It was part of the Collaborative Research Area 619 Ritual Dynamics.

  • Hauptstraße Heidelberg, Germany

  • Conference publication: "The Internationalization of Ayahuasca" (Labate/Jungaberle)

  • Representatives of the Uniao do Vegetal

  • Bia Labate, Jordi Riba, Jacques Mabit

  • Henrik Jungaberle and Bia Labate

  • Jordi Riba

  • Fletcher DuBois and Rolf Verres

  • Bia Labate

  • Ken Tucker

  • Henrik Jungaberle and Wouter Hanegraaf

  • Wouter Hanegraaf

  • Fletcher DuBois

  • Nicole Krumdieck and Andrea Jungaberle

  • Luis Eduardo Luna

  • Old Bridge, Heidelberg

Table of content

Preface: Beatriz Caiuby Labate and Henrik Jungaberle

Foreword: Charles Kaplan –  Ayahuasca and the Coming Transformation of the International Drug Control System

Section 1: Ayahuasca in South America and the world

1. Tracing Hallucinations: Contributing to a critical ethnohistory of Ayahuasca usage in the Peruvian Amazon  – Bernd Brabec de Mori

2. Hoasca Ethonomedicine:  Traditional use of the “Nove Vegetais” (“Nine Herbs”) by the União do Vegetal – Beatriz Caiuby Labate, Denizar Missawa Camurça, Sérgio Brissac and Jonathan Ott

3. The Historical Origins of Santo Daime: Academics, Adepts and Ideology – Beatriz Caiuby Labate and Gustavo Pacheco

4. Ayahuasca Groups and Networks in the Netherlands – A Challenge to the Study of Contemporary Religion – Wouter J. Hanegraaff

5. Psychonautic uses of “ayahuasca” and its analogues – Panacea or outré entertainment? – Jonathan Ott

6. Some Reflections on the Global Expansion of Ayahuasca – Luis Eduardo Luna

7.   A Vine Network – Oscar Calavia Saéz

Section 2: Medical, Psychological and Pharmacological issues: How safe is the Use of Ayahuasca?

8. Pharmacology of Ayahuasca: Clinical Trials in Healthy Volunteers – Jordi Riba & Manel J. Barbanoj

9. The Risks and Potential Benefits of Ayahuasca Use from a Psychopharmacological Perspective – Ede Frescka

10. Long-term effects of the ritual use of ayahuasca on mental health – José Carlos Bouso, Josep María Fábregas, Débora González, Sabela Fondevila, Xavier Fernández, Marta Cutchet and Miguel Ángel Alcázar

11. An Epidemiological Surveillance System by the UDV: Mental Health Recommendations Concerning the Religious Use of Hoasca – Francisco Assis de Sousa Lima and Luís Fernando Tófoli

12. “Mr. Chico, please heal yourself!” – Spiritual Healing in the Santo Daime Doctrine and its Interface with Medical-Scientific Knowledge – Alex Polari de Alverga

13. Ritual Ayahuasca Use and Health: an Interview with Jacques Mabit – By Beatriz Caiuby Labate, Brian Anderson and Henrik Jungaberle

14. Ayahuasca Healing: A Qualitative Study about 15 European People Handling their Diseases – Janine Schmid

Section 3: The development of a global debate on ethics and legalization

15. The New Brazilian Law on Drugs and the Religious Uses of Ayahuasca: Legal and Anthropological Aspects – Luciana Boiteux

16. Development and Organizational Goals of the União do Vegetal as a Brazilian and International Religious Group – Edson Lodi Campos Soares and Cristina Patriota de Moura

17. The Legal Case of the União do Vegetal vs. The Government of The United States – Jeffrey Bronfman

18. The Santo Daime Road to Seeking Religious Freedom in the USA – Roy Haber

19.  Ayahuasca in Canada: Cultural Phenomenon and Policy Issue – Kenneth Tupper

20. Ayahuasca under International Law: The Santo Daime Churches in the Netherlands – Adèle van den Plas

21. The Development of the Legal Situation of Santo Daime in Germany – Silvio Rohde and Hajo Sanders

22. One Hundred Days of Ayahuasca in France: The Story of a Legal Decision – Ghislaine Bourgogne

23. Santo Daime in Spain: a Religion with a Psychoactive Sacrament – Santiago Lopéz-Pavillard and Diego de las Casas

24. Legal Recognition of the União do Vegetal in Spain – José Vicente Marin Prades

25. The Santo Daime legal case in Italy – Walter Menozzi

26.  Judging Religious Drug Use: The Misuse of the Definition of “Religion” – Russell Sandberg

June, 2008

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Between 2002 and 2013 Henrik Jungaberle was part of a German Research Council project: the Collaborative Research Center 619 Ritual Dynamics – Socio-Cultural Processes from a Historical and Culturally Comparative Perspective.
The Institute of Medical Psychology conducted a longitudinal mixed-method project within the larger Sonderforschungsbereich. Subproject C8 “Ritual Dynamics and Salutogenesis in the Use and Abuse of Psychoactive Substances” is described on the linked website. The conference “The Internationalization of Ayahuasca” was part of this larger subproject. The project was coordinated by Prof. Dr. med. Rolf Verres and Dr. sc. hum. Henrik Jungaberle.

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