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Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval, & Modern India

This book offers a variety of scholarly studies in the idea, situation, and definition-including the self-definition-of women in India, from the earliest historical period up to the present day. Both in its range of topics and depth of research, this volume creates a sustained focus that is not presently available in the literature of women in India. Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern India comprises 25 essays contributed by a diverse mix of Indian, Canadian, American, and British women scholars, most of whom have lived in South Asia either for all of their lives or for extended periods. Arranged chronologically, these groundbreaking essays set aside the myths and prejudices that often clutter discussions about women in India. Part I, which is dedicated to the ancient period, defines women's positions as depicted in the sacred law, considers subordinated women in major Hindu epics, describes women's roles in ritual and their understanding of religion, and examines the patriarchal organization of women's lives in Buddhism. Part II begins with an essay on Tantra, a major force in medieval India that influenced both Hinduism and Buddhism and placed women at the center of its sacred rites. Other essays in Part II look at the life and legends of a medieval woman saint poet, the portrayal of a Hindu goddess in medieval Bengal, and the role of women from Mughal harems in decision making. Part III describes the colonial perception of Indian women in the late nineteenth century and shows how women's self-perceptions have been expressed through their art and writing as well as through their political action in the twentieth century. Providing informed andbalanced analysis of extensive primary source material, this book will be an essential resource for students of women's lives in India.
Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval, & Modern India
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The essays in this collection explore ideas about women and their positions in Indian society from the earliest historical period up to the present day. The collection is designed both to provide students and researchers with primary material from literary, historical and sociological sources and on that basis to critically explore specific issues.
Mandakranta Bose is Director of the Centre for Indian and South Asia Research and Lecturer in Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia.
Fascinating collection of essays ... the approach is both wide-ranging and ground-breaking. Scholars of religion as well as scholars of Indian history and literature will find much to interest, inform and perhaps challenge them from the perspective of gender ... an excellent volume which makes for stimulating reading Religion
This book offers a variety of scholarly studies in the idea, situation, and definition-including the self-definition-of women in India, from the earliest historical period up to the present day. Both in its range of topics and depth of research, this volume creates a sustained focus that is not presently available in the literature of women in India. Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern India comprises 25 essays contributed by a
diverse mix of Indian, Canadian, American, and British women scholars, most of whom have lived in South Asia either for all of their lives or for extended periods. Arranged chronologically, these groundbreaking essays set aside the myths and prejudices that often clutter discussions about women in India.
Part I, which is dedicated to the ancient period, defines women's positions as depicted in the sacred law, considers subordinated women in major Hindu epics, describes women's roles in ritual and their understanding of religion, and examines the patriarchal organization of women's lives in Buddhism. Part II begins with an essay on Tantra, a major force in medieval India that influenced both Hinduism and Buddhism and placed women at the center of its sacred rites. Other essays in Part II look at
the life and legends of a medieval woman saint poet, the portrayal of a Hindu goddess in medieval Bengal, and the role of women from Mughal harems in decision making. Part III describes the colonial perception of Indian women in the late nineteenth century and shows how women's self-perceptions have
been expressed through their art and writing as well as through their political action in the twentieth century. Providing informed and balanced analysis of extensive primary source material, this book will be an essential resource for students of women's lives in India.
"Fascinating collection of essays....Bose's collection of essays is of great value to those studying gender and South Asia, because it offers a historical view from differing female perspectives....This is a wonderful book."--Middle East and South Asia Folklore Bulletin State
"Someone has defined a good book as one to which one returns repeatedly once in has been encountered. [Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern India] is such a book."--Journal of the American Oriental Society
"Fascinating collection of essays....Bose's collection of essays is of great value to those studying gender and South Asia, because it offers a historical view from differing female perspectives....This is a wonderful book."--Middle East and South Asia Folklore Bulletin (
Short Title
FACES OF THE FEMININE IN ANCIE
Publisher
Oxford University Press, USA
Language
English
ISBN-10
0195122291
ISBN-13
9780195122299
Media
Book
Format
Hardcover
DEWEY
305.409
Illustrations
Yes
Year
2000
Publication Date
2000-02-28
Country of Publication
United States
Edited by
Mandakranta Bose
Author
Mandakranta Bose
Imprint
Oxford University Press Inc
Place of Publication
New York
Birth
1938
Pages
368
Audience
Professional and Scholarly
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