Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Seeking Mahadevi: Constructing the Indentities of the Hindu Great Goddess by Tracy Pintchman

While Hindus recognize and revere a variety of different goddesses, they also tend to speak of one Great Goddess, Mahaµdeviµ, 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 Mahaµdeviµ found in textual and devotional environments and the ways that the singularity and multiplicity of the divine Hindu feminine are negotiated. Seeking Mahaµdeviµ covers 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 Mahaµdeviµ has multiple, context-dependent identities that are constructed through human interpretive activity, this book highlights the great diversity of ways that those who worship Mahaµdeviµ conceive of and portray her.

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