In India, God can be female. The goddesses of Hinduism and
Buddhism represent the largest extant collection of living
goddesses anywhere on the planet. Feminists in the West often draw
upon South Asian goddesses as theological resources in the
contemporary rediscovery of the Goddess. Yet, these goddesses are
products of a male supremacist society.
What is the impact of powerful female deities--their images,
projections, textuality, and history--on the social standing and
psychological health of women? Do they empower women, or serve the
interests of patriarchal culture? Is the Goddess a Feminist? looks
at the goddesses of South Asia to address these questions
Not a book about a single goddess or even about a variety of
South Asian goddesses, the volume raises questions about images of
deities as symbols and the ways in which they function.
Contributors discuss contemporary Indian women who have embraced
goddesses as spiritually and socially liberating, as well as the
seeming contradictions between the power of Indian goddesses and
the lives of Indian women. They also explore such topics as the
element of male desire in the embodiment of female deities, the
question of who speaks for the goddesses, and the politics and
theology of Western feminist use of Hindu and Buddhist goddesses as
models for their feminist reflections.
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