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Mutating Goddesses – Bengal's Laukika Hinduism and Gender Rights - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Mutating Goddesses: Bengal's Laukika Hinduism and Gender Rights

Saswati Sengupta


It is an enduring contradiction that Hindus revere their goddesses but their society is dominated by Brahmanical patriarchy. Although we assume that the worship of goddesses implies the celebration of so-called female power, we overlook how the development of such practices of devotion occurred within a highly patriarchal society that subjugated women in everyday life. Addressing this oversight, Mutating Goddesses traces the shifting fortunes of four goddesses—Manasā, Caṇḍī, Ṣaṣṭhī, and Lakṣmī—and their mutation within the goddess-invested tradition of Bengal’s Hinduism. It uses the vibrant la ... More

Keywords: goddess, laukika Hinduism, śāstrik Hinduism, Brahmanical patriarchy, vrata/brata, maṅgalakābya, caste hierarchy, class, gender, folklore studies, nationalism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780190124106
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190124106.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Saswati Sengupta, author
Associate Professor, Department of English, Miranda House

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