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Posts tagged ‘Hinduism’

  1. Book review: Bringing the Sacred Down to Earth

    I’m generally wary of the comparative approach to the study of religion (and myth), if only as, as an approach it has tended to supress or conceal differences between cultures, giving rise to the illusion of homogeneity by reducing the expressions of other cultures to the concepts being deployed by the person doing the comparison. Comparative approaches, so often uncritically map the religious features of other cultures onto European classifications, and thereby work as a form of cultural imperialism. Comparative models have also been used to support the flawed notion that magical/religious techniques can be easily “lifted” from their cultural context. Continue reading »

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  2. Group Book review: Indian Goddesses

    As a follow-up to the group review of books related to Kali in August, I’m going to present short reviews of three books focusing on Indian Goddesses that I’ve found to be very useful – The Divine Consort: Radha and the Goddesses of India edited by John Stratton Hawley and Donna Marie Wulf; David Kinsley’s Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition and Lynn Foulston and Stuart Abbott’s Hindu Goddesses: Beliefs and Practices. Continue reading »

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  3. Book review – Imagining Hinduism: A Postcolonial Perspective

    One of the problems of engaging with tantra is that so many of the tropes used to construct contemporary popular representations of “tantra” – indeed, the very notion of “tantra” itself; that it is a singular, monolithic category which can be easily seperated from its South Asian roots and contexts – arise from colonial-era discourses. Postcolonialism has, since the 1970s been gaining increasing prominence as a broad-based approach to studying the interactions between (mostly) European nations and the societies they colonised. For a useful introduction to the range of issues which postcolonialism encompasses, see this Interview with Achille Mbembe. Continue reading »

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