Seeking Mahadevi: Constructing the Identities of the Hindu Great Goddess
SUNY Press, Jun 14, 2001 - Religion - 268 pages
Explores the identity of the Hindu Great Goddess and how it relates to the many goddesses worshipped in India.
While Hindus recognize and revere a variety of different goddesses, they also tend to speak of one Great Goddess, Mahadevi, as a singular divine being who is the unity underlying all female deities. In this book, ten scholars reflect on both the diverse depictions of Mahadevi found in textual and devotional environments and the ways that the singularity and multiplicity of the divine Hindu feminine are negotiated. Seeking Mahadevicovers various geographical locations, from the Punjab and Bengal in North India to Kerala and Tamilnadu in the South, and makes use of evidence from ancient texts and contemporary interviews, male-authored documents and women's possession experiences, myth, ritual, and folklore. Arguing that Mahadevi has multiple, context-dependent identities that are constructed through human interpretive activity, this book highlights the great diversity of ways that those who worship Mahadevi conceive of and portray her.
Contributors include C. Mackenzie Brown, Sarah Caldwell, Thomas Coburn, Elaine Craddock, Kathleen M. Erndl, Jeffrey J. Kripal, Usha Menon, Tracy Pintchman, Andhra Pradesh, and Mark Edwin Rohe.
Tracy Pintchman is Associate Professor of Hindu Studies at Loyola University Chicago. She is the author of The Rise of the Goddess in the Hindu Tradition, also published by SUNY Press.
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