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Victory to the Mother : The Hindu Goddess of Northwest India in Myth, Ritual, and Symbol - Kathleen M. Erndl

Victory to the Mother

The Hindu Goddess of Northwest India in Myth, Ritual, and Symbol

Paperback Published: 11th February 1993
ISBN: 9780195070156
Number Of Pages: 232

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The worship of Devi, the Goddess, is one of the most vigorous and visible religious phenomena in northwest India today. In this groundbreaking book, Kathleen Erndl uses interviews, participant observations, and her own acute observations to explore the nature of the Goddess and her devotees' experience of her. Beginning with an analysis of oral and written sources, Erndl then examines specific ritual practices--including pilgrimage, performance, and divine possession--and presents case studies of women devotees who became 'possessed' by the Goddess and are worshipped as her representatives. The effects of modernization and popular culture on Goddess worship are revealed in the influence of popular religious pamphlets and the recent absorption of the "new" goddess, Santoshi Ma, into the pantheon. A final chapter suggests a number of ways of understanding the continuing vitality of the goddess as a mythic presence in the lives of contemporary Hindus.

Industry Reviews

"This book is clearly written, informative, and engaging because of E.'s personal style which draws us along with her on her discoveries. It is an excellent resource on Indian worship traditions for religious studies and anthropology students in senior undergraduate or graduate studies and mandatory reading for those engaged in research on Hindu goddesses."--Hillary Rodrigues, The University of Lethbridge "An important book, comprising a historical and ethnographic study of Vaisno Devi, invaluable descriptions of the cults of women who are believed to be living vehicles of the goddess, and a useful summary of the literature and current debates regarding goddess worship in Hinduism....An important contribution to the literature on Hindu goddesses and will be of particular value as a textbook for courses on popular Hinduism and goddess worship." --William S. Sax, University of Canterbury, in History of Religions "[A]dmirable at revealing what Hinduism means from day to day to its believers."--Asian Affairs "This monograph provides valuable evidence on the Hindu goddess's cult in north-western India....Erndl's monograph is concise and well written, and strikes a nice balance between the demands of technical scholarship and accessibility to non-specialists."--Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies "My students really enjoyed this book because it helped them get a real sense of positive aspects of women's lives, the role of the goddess, general Hindu attitudes, and India. They appreciated the combination of scholarly analysis and personal experiences--India became 'alive' for them."--Elisabeth Benard, Southwestern University "An outstanding contribution to scholarship in the study of religion in India. Erndl combines scholarly sophistication and a readable style simple enough for undergraduates."--Kay K. Jordan, Radford University "Excellent....An important addition to the growing collection of first-rate studies on goddess traditions in India."--Paul Courtright, Emory University "Illuminates a facet of regional piety that has suffered some neglect."--D.A. Fox, Colorado College "Intensive, worthwhile study."--F.W. Blackwell, Washington State University "Good reference book for students who are trying to determine the reasons for women remaining in a patriarchal religion."--Marianne Ferguson, Buffalo State College "A first-rate piece of work. Entirely readable, pioneering in a number of aspects, and very useful both as a text in teaching and a source in research."--Walter Fairservis, Vassar College "A welcome addition to the literature on both modern popular Hinduism and goddess traditions in India. An excellent example of top-notch scholarship packaged for beginners or lay readers as well as specialists."--William K. Mahony, Davidson College "A major contribution to the study of the feminine divine in India and belongs in all libraries with South Asian holdings."--Religious Studies Review "Her information is not just scholarly, it is also culled from popular footpath literature - devotional, sectarian and partisan pamphlets."--Business Standards "Excellent book for a semester-long survey of Hinduism."--Shahgad Bashir, College of the Holy Cross

1: Divine Materialism: Myth and Theology of Goddess Worship 2: Speaking of the Goddess: Stories of the Seven Sisters 3: The Call of the Goddess: The Dynamics of Pilgrimage 4: Waking the Goddess: The Jagrata a Ritual Performance 5: The Play of the Goddess: Possession and Participation 6: The Goddess and Popular Culture: Contemporary Perspectives 7: The Goddess as an Enduring Presence Bibliography Index

ISBN: 9780195070156
ISBN-10: 0195070151
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 11th February 1993
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.98 x 14.05  x 1.55
Weight (kg): 0.31

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