In South Asia goddesses are conceptualized and worshipped in a fascinatingrange of forms – from cosmic beings to bacterial manifestations, from human-like appearances to creatures with animal and insect semblances. This book maps the diverse identities of goddesses through metaphors of Grace, Rage and Knowledge, and offers an in-depth insight into femininity, sexual politics, ritual worship, religion, ecology and gender. The volume explores how these deity attributes are expressed and embedded through anthropomorphic as well as inorganic forms of nature: beautiful women, multi-legged and many-armed animals, epistemic selves, demonic beings, glamorous personifications and also grotesque sub-humans.
The second edition contains an Epilogue which further explores how the discourses on Goddesses are moulded by the myth and folklore. It opens discussions on how the dynamism of Goddess cultures have been appropriated into contemporary variations of those archetypes over time. This book will be useful to scholars and researchers of religious studies, cultural studies, folklore, art, literature, sociology and gender studies, especially those interested in Nepal and Hinduism.
Table of Contents
List of figures. Foreword by Syed Manzoorul Islam. Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction 1. Grace, Rage and Knowledge 2. Devi and overlapping metaphors of Grace, Rage and Knowledge 3. Representations of Grace, Rage and Knowledge in valley art 4. Epistemology of the feminine and psychological posture 5. Afterword: goddesses and beauty. Epilogue. Glossary. Bibliography. Index
Arun Gupto is Principal at the Institute of Advanced Communication, Education and Research, Kathmandu, Nepal. He has been part of the faculty at the Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University. His areas of study are literary theory, postcolonial studies and South Asian studies, and his current research is on South Asian art and religion, culminating in a documentary project entitled ‘The Art of the Lake’.
"Goddesses are found everywhere, but they are most at home in South Asia, which is the focus of Professor Gupto’s study. He has combined scholarship, theoretical astuteness and critical acumen to provide a fresh treatment of a subject of abiding interest to students of culture and the arts." - Kaiser Haq, Department of English, University of Dhaka