Women's Lives, Women's Rituals in the Hindu Tradition

Women's Lives, Women's Rituals in the Hindu Tradition

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In this book, Tracy Pintchman has assembled ten leading scholars of Hinduism to explore the complex relationship between Hindu women's rituals and their lives beyond ritual. The book focuses particularly on the relationship of women's ritual practices to domesticity, exposing and exploring the nuances, complexities, and limits of this relationship. In many cultural and historical contexts, including contemporary India, women's everyday lives tend to revolve heavily around domestic and interpersonal concerns, especially care for children, the home, husbands, and other relatives. Hence, women's religiosity also tends to emphasize the domestic realm and the relationships most central to women. But women's religious concerns certainly extend beyond domesticity. Furthermore, even the domestic religious activities that Hindu women perform may not merely replicate or affirm traditionally formulated domestic ideals but may function strategically to reconfigure, reinterpret, criticize, or even reject such ideals.
This volume takes a fresh look at issues of the relationship between Hindu women's ritual practices and normative domesticity. In so doing, it emphasizes female innovation and agency in constituting and transforming both ritual and the domestic realm and calls attention to the limitations of normative domesticity as a category relevant to many forms of Hindu women's religious practice.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 157.5 x 233.7 x 22.9mm | 385.56g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0195177061
  • 9780195177060

Review quote

"Women's Lives, Women's Rituals in the Hindu Tradition is an enticingly rich collection. The theme of women's ritual performance and its challenges to and conformity with domesticity set the stage for a range of observations and analyses. Making impressive use of this range, the volume describes from a variety of contexts how religious performances can enhance as well as curtail women's agency and autonomy. Naturally of benefit to students and scholars
interested in the rituals and lives of Hindu women, the collection is also a great resource for investigating the vast and variegated nature of Hindu traditions." -Corinne Dempsey, author of The Goddess Lives in Upstate New York: Breaking Convention and Making Home at a North American Hindu Temple and Kerala
Christian Sainthood: Collisions of Culture an Worldview in South India.
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About Tracy Pintchman

Tracy Pintchman is a professor of religious studies at Loyola University Chicago and author of The Rise of the Goddess in the Hindu Tradition and Guests at God's Wedding: Celebrating Kartik among the Women of Benares.
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