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The Goddess Lives in Upstate New YorkBreaking Convention and Making Home at a North American Hindu Temple$
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Corinne G. Dempsey

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195187298

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195187296.001.0001

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Temple Entryways

Temple Entryways

(p.15) 1 Temple Entryways
The Goddess Lives in Upstate New York

Corinne G. Dempsey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the reader to the rich ritual life at the Rush temple featuring, in particular, the practice of honoring the goddess and other deities by invoking their presence and making offerings into a homam fire. Also featured are the purported effects of ritual and internal discipline on the body involving such concepts as kundalini power and cakra points. In the process of describing the features and anticipated effects of external and internal rituals, this chapter also chronicles the author’s shifting engagement with temple participants, practices, and theologies, something she describes as being both within and outside her cognitive control. Implicit in this chapter is thus an evaluation of the challenges presented by ethnography performed within religious contexts.

Keywords:   ethnography, ritual, homam, fire, body, kundalini, cakra

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