Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Goddess as Role ModelSita and Radha in Scripture and on Screen$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Heidi R. M. Pauwels

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369908

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369908.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 08 March 2021



Sītā and Rādhā, Role Models for Women?

(p.3) Introduction
The Goddess as Role Model

Heidi R. M. Pauwels (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The introduction sets up the basic question of the book: when are goddesses as role models potentially empowering or oppressive for women? It situates this question within contemporary feminist debates. It contrasts the role models of Sita and Radha and counters a monolithic understanding of these goddesses, arguing for a historically nuanced study of how their stories change over time as told in classical Sanskrit sources, the bhakti or devotional tradition, and the popular culture frameworks of television series and movies. Three hypotheses will be tested. First, are bhakti texts in privileging love above duty and celebrating women's subjectivity liberating for women? Second, does the modernity of the medium of television and film result in a more progressive view? Finally, how is the increasing influence of Hindutva in the public sphere reflected on screen? The introduction establishes the methodology of “siting” Sita and Radha, introduces the sources used and outlines the overall organization.

Keywords:   role model, goddess, bhakti, Sita, Radha, Ramanand Sagar, Valmiki Ramayana, Bhagavata Purana, Tulsidas, Surdas, Nanddas, Hariram Vyas

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .