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Is the Goddess a Feminist?: The Politics of South Asian Goddesses

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Is the Goddess a Feminist?: The Politics of South Asian Goddesses Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Public involvement in the electoral process has all but disappeared. Not since World War I has even half the electorate cast ballots in an off-year election. Even at the presidential level, voting has plummeted dismally. Nonvoting is, quite simply, systemic in American politics.

It was not always this way. With the integration of America's mass electorate into the electoral system in the 1830s, eligible voters were intensely participatory and remained highly mobilized throughout the nineteenth century. The turning point in American politics came during the first two decades of this century when, from unmatched heights in the 1890s, voter turnouts fell repeatedly election after election.

Examining mass political behavior in twenty successive national elections, Why America Stopped Voting is the first work to combine political analysis with social analysis, resulting in a truly interdisciplinary book that places electoral participation within the larger context of American culture and society. A milestone in the evolution of our understanding of electoral politics, Why America Stopped Voting shows that the enduring decline of voter mobilization was gradual, rather than drastic and not attributable to particular political events or simply the notion that "a happy citizenry is politically apathetic." Rather, Kornbluh shows that fundamental social changes that restructured virtually every aspect of American life at the turn of the century were at the heart of the decline in voter participation.

Book News Annotation:

American and Indian scholars of religion, anthropology, women's studies, and psychology look at the complex relationship between the living worship of female divinities and women in India. In keeping with the multiplicity, especially of Hinduism but also Buddhism and Jainism, the anthology presents a number of sometimes conflicting views rather than a consistent account. Only authors are indexed.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

In India, God can be female. The goddesses of Hinduism and Buddhism represent the largest extant collection of living goddesses anywhere on the planet. Feminists in the West often draw upon South Asian goddesses as theological resources in the contemporary rediscovery of the Goddess. Yet, these goddesses are products of a male supremacist society.

What is the impact of powerful female deities--their images, projections, textuality, and history--on the social standing and psychological health of women? Do they empower women, or serve the interests of patriarchal culture? Is the Goddess a Feminist? looks at the goddesses of South Asia to address these questions directly.

Not a book about a single goddess or even about a variety of South Asian goddesses, the volume raises questions about images of deities as symbols and the ways in which they function. Contributors discuss contemporary Indian women who have embraced goddesses as spiritually and socially liberating, as well as the seeming contradictions between the power of Indian goddesses and the lives of Indian women. They also explore such topics as the element of male desire in the embodiment of female deities, the question of who speaks for the goddesses, and the politics and theology of Western feminist use of Hindu and Buddhist goddesses as models for their feminist reflections.

About the Author

ALF HILTEBEITEL is Professor of Religion and Director of the Human Sciences Program at George Washington University. His books include Rethinking India's Oral and Classical Epics: Draupad.

KATHLEEN M. ERNDL is Associate Professor of Religion at Florida State University and author of Victory to the Mother: The Hindu Goddess of Northwest India in Myth, Ritual, and Symbol.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780814736180
Editor:
Hiltebeitel, Alf
Editor:
Erndl, Kathleen M.
Editor:
Hiltebeitel, Alf
Editor:
Erndl, Kathleen M.
Author:
Kornbluh, Mark
Author:
Erndl, Kathleen M.
Author:
Hiltebeitel, Alf
Publisher:
New York University Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
Hinduism
Subject:
Feminism
Subject:
Goddesses
Subject:
Buddhism - General
Subject:
Eastern - General
Subject:
Hinduism - General
Subject:
Folklore & Mythology
Subject:
FEMINISM_RELIGIOUS ASPECTS
Subject:
Women
Subject:
S STUDIES_SOUTH EAST ASIA
Subject:
DEVOTIONAL THEOLOGY AND OBJECTS OF VENERATION_SOUTH EAST ASIA
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Feminism -- Religious aspects.
Subject:
Goddesses -- India.
Subject:
Religion-Eastern - General
Subject:
Democracy
Publication Date:
20001131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
287
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects


Religion » Eastern Religions » Buddhism » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Hinduism » General

Is the Goddess a Feminist?: The Politics of South Asian Goddesses New Hardcover
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Product details 287 pages New York University Press - English 9780814736180 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In India, God can be female. The goddesses of Hinduism and Buddhism represent the largest extant collection of living goddesses anywhere on the planet. Feminists in the West often draw upon South Asian goddesses as theological resources in the contemporary rediscovery of the Goddess. Yet, these goddesses are products of a male supremacist society.

What is the impact of powerful female deities--their images, projections, textuality, and history--on the social standing and psychological health of women? Do they empower women, or serve the interests of patriarchal culture? Is the Goddess a Feminist? looks at the goddesses of South Asia to address these questions directly.

Not a book about a single goddess or even about a variety of South Asian goddesses, the volume raises questions about images of deities as symbols and the ways in which they function. Contributors discuss contemporary Indian women who have embraced goddesses as spiritually and socially liberating, as well as the seeming contradictions between the power of Indian goddesses and the lives of Indian women. They also explore such topics as the element of male desire in the embodiment of female deities, the question of who speaks for the goddesses, and the politics and theology of Western feminist use of Hindu and Buddhist goddesses as models for their feminist reflections.

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