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A Garland of Feminist ReflectionsForty Years of Religious Exploration$
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Rita Gross

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520255852

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520255852.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Toward a New Model of the Hindu Pantheon

Toward a New Model of the Hindu Pantheon

A Report on Twenty-Some Years of Feminist Reflection

(p.143) Chapter 8 Toward a New Model of the Hindu Pantheon
A Garland of Feminist Reflections

Rita M. Gross

University of California Press

This chapter revolves around the author's dissatisfaction with the model of the Hindu pantheon found in most textbooks. The literature on Hinduism presents a model of the Hindu pantheon that is still very much in existence. That model tells us that there are three major Hindu deities, Vishnu, Shiva, and the Goddess, always presented in that order, and almost always with fewer words devoted to the deities further down on the list. This model gives the impression that male deities are more important and more popular than female deities. It also often gives the impression that male deities are normal and understandable, while goddesses are odd and exotic. Hinduism is the only major contemporary world religion in which goddess worship is prominent and normal. In such a religion, it does not seem likely that the female deities would be regarded as an add-on or an afterthought.

Keywords:   Hindu pantheon, Hinduism, Hindu deities, female deities, male deities

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