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Women of the Sacred Groves : Divine Priestesses of Okinawa (99 Edition)

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Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

Okinawa is the only contemporary society in which women lead the official, mainstream, publicly funded religion. Priestesses are the acknowledged religious leaders within the home, clan, and village--and, until annexation by Japan approximately one hundred years ago, within the Ryukyuan Kingdom. This fieldwork-based study provides a gender-sensitive look at a remarkable religious tradition. Susan Sered spent a year living in Henza, an Okinawan fishing village, joining priestesses as they conducted rituals in the sacred groves located deep in the jungle-covered mountains surrounding the village. Her observations focus upon the meaning of being a priestess and the interplay between women's religious preeminence and other aspects of the society.

Sered shows that the villages social ethos is characterized by easy-going interpersonal relations, an absence of firm rules and hierarchies, and a belief that the village and its inhabitants are naturally healthy. Particularly interesting is her discovery that gender is a minimal category here: villagers do not adapt any sort of ideology that proclaims that men and women are inherently different from one another. Villagers do explain that because farmland is scarce in Okinawa, men have been compelled to go to the dangerous ocean and to foreign countries to seek their livelihoods. Women, in contrast, have remained present in their healthy and pleasant village, working on their farms and engaging in constant rounds of intra- and interfamilial socializing. Priestesses, who do not exert power in the sense that religious leaders in many other societies do, can be seen as the epitome of presence. By praying and eating at myriad rituals, priestesses make immediate and tangible the benevolent presence of kami-sama (divinity).

Through in-depth examination of this unique and little-studied society, Sered offers a glimpse of a religious paradigm radically different from the male-dominated religious ideologies found in many other cultures.

Synopsis:

Although most historical and contemporary religions are governed by men, there are, scattered throughout the world, a handful of well-documented religions led by women. Most of these are marginal, subordinate, or secondary religions in the societies in which they are located. The one known

exception to this rule is the indigenous religion of Okinawa, where women lead the official mainstream religion of the society. This book is the first in-depth look at this unique religious tradition, exploring the intersection between religion and gender. Based on fieldwork in an Okinawan village,

Susan Sered argues that the absence of male dominance in the religious sphere is part of a broader absence of hiearchical ideologies and cultural patterns. In addition to providing important information on this remarkable and little-studied group, this book helps to overturn our mostly unexamined

assumptions that male dominance of the religious sphere is universal, axiomatic, and necessary.

Synopsis:

Although most historical and contemporary religions are governed by men, there are, scattered throughout the world, a handful of well-documented religions led by women. Most of these are marginal, subordinate, or secondary religions in the societies in which they are located. The one known exception to this rule is the indigenous religion of Okinawa, where women lead the official mainstream religion of the society. This book is the first in-depth look at this unique religious tradition, exploring the intersection between religion and gender. Based on fieldwork in an Okinawan village, Susan Sered argues that the absence of male dominance in the religious sphere is part of a broader absence of hiearchical ideologies and cultural patterns. In addition to providing important information on this remarkable and little-studied group, this book helps to overturn our mostly unexamined assumptions that male dominance of the religious sphere is universal, axiomatic, and necessary.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Prologue: Okinawan History, Henza Village, and Methodology

Part I: Divine Dis-order

1. Divine Dis-order: On Social Planes

2. Divine Dis-order: On Cosmological Planes

Part II: Questions of Gender

3. Gender in an Egalitarian Society

4. Gender Separation and Social Integration

5. Women and Men and Ritual

Part III: Sitting in the Seat of the Gods

6. Priestesses and Ritual: Feeding the Kami-sama

7. Divine Dis-order: Signs, Symptoms, and Sitting in the Right Seat

8. Born to Be Kami-sama

Part IV: Questions of Power

9. The Problematics of Power

10. Priestesses, Yuta, and Ogami People

Part V: Deconstructing Gender

11. Un-gendering Religious Discourse

12. Gender Bending(?) and Ritual Deconstruction

Conclusion: Religion, Power, and the Sanctification of Gender

Appendixes:

1. Glossary of Japanese and Okinawan Words

2. Dramatis Personae

Notes

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195124873
Author:
Sered, Susan
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Susan
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Eastern
Subject:
Sociology of Religion
Subject:
Religious life
Subject:
Eastern - General
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Theology | Comparative Religion | Eastern
Subject:
Religion and Theology | Comparative Religion | Eastern
Subject:
Women -- Religious life -- Japan -- Okinawa-ken.
Subject:
Okinawa-ken (Japan)
Subject:
Religion & Theology | Comparative Religion | Eastern
Subject:
Gender Studies-Womens Studies
Publication Date:
19990331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
14 halftones
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.1 x 6 x 0.9 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
Religion » Eastern Religions » General
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues
Science and Mathematics » Geology » General

Women of the Sacred Groves : Divine Priestesses of Okinawa (99 Edition) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$44.00 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195124873 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Although most historical and contemporary religions are governed by men, there are, scattered throughout the world, a handful of well-documented religions led by women. Most of these are marginal, subordinate, or secondary religions in the societies in which they are located. The one known

exception to this rule is the indigenous religion of Okinawa, where women lead the official mainstream religion of the society. This book is the first in-depth look at this unique religious tradition, exploring the intersection between religion and gender. Based on fieldwork in an Okinawan village,

Susan Sered argues that the absence of male dominance in the religious sphere is part of a broader absence of hiearchical ideologies and cultural patterns. In addition to providing important information on this remarkable and little-studied group, this book helps to overturn our mostly unexamined

assumptions that male dominance of the religious sphere is universal, axiomatic, and necessary.

"Synopsis" by , Although most historical and contemporary religions are governed by men, there are, scattered throughout the world, a handful of well-documented religions led by women. Most of these are marginal, subordinate, or secondary religions in the societies in which they are located. The one known exception to this rule is the indigenous religion of Okinawa, where women lead the official mainstream religion of the society. This book is the first in-depth look at this unique religious tradition, exploring the intersection between religion and gender. Based on fieldwork in an Okinawan village, Susan Sered argues that the absence of male dominance in the religious sphere is part of a broader absence of hiearchical ideologies and cultural patterns. In addition to providing important information on this remarkable and little-studied group, this book helps to overturn our mostly unexamined assumptions that male dominance of the religious sphere is universal, axiomatic, and necessary.
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