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Encountering KālīIn the Margins, at the Center, in the West$
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Rachel Fell McDermott and Jeffrey Kripal

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520232396

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520232396.001.0001

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Kālī's New Frontiers

Kālī's New Frontiers

A Hindu Goddess on the Internet

(p.273) Chapter 12 Kālī's New Frontiers
Encountering Kālī

Rachel Fell McDermott

Jeffrey J. Kripal

University of California Press

This chapter begins with two depictions of Kālī, both by Western women, exemplifying the extremes of possible interpretation. The first figure is similar to India's “calendar art” style of portraying the four-armed Goddess, whereas the second figure is reflective of Western views of the Goddess as powerfully sexual. This chapter discusses Kālī on the Internet, using sources such as websites, Internet news groups, and electronic magazines. Feminist and New Age proponents of Kālī have been criticized by Hindus living in the West as representative of a wave of neocolonialists; to some such critics, these Western interpreters and appropriators of the Goddess are every bit as insidious as those of the past two centuries. This chapter looks at Kālī-associated themes on the Internet, including Kālī and female empowerment, Tantra and sex, Kālī-centered New Age rituals, and Kālī in dance, theater, art, and advertising.

Keywords:   Kālī, Internet, India, New Age, female empowerment, Tantra, sex, rituals, dance, art

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