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A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond
Slouber, Michael (Edt)
University of California Press / Softcover / 2020-12-01 / 0520375750
Buddhism / Women's Issues
price: $46.50
374 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Imagining the divine as female is rare—even controversial—in most religions. Hinduism, by contrast, preserves a rich and continuous tradition of goddess worship. A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses conveys the diversity of this tradition by bringing together a fresh array of captivating and largely overlooked Hindu goddess tales from different regions. As the first such anthology of goddess narratives in translation, this collection highlights a range of sources from ancient myths to modern lore. The goddesses featured here battle demons, perform miracles, and grant rare Tantric visions to their devotees. Each translation is paired with a short essay that explains the goddess’s historical and social context, elucidating the ways religion adapts to changing times.


"An outstanding introduction to goddess traditions across South and Southeast Asia. Its careful translations of diverse sources bring the myths and practices of goddess traditions directly to the reader. There is no other work like it."—Richard S. Weiss, author of The Emergence of Modern Hinduism: Religion on the Margins of Colonialism

"The carefully researched essays in this volume help us gain new insights into local goddess traditions in South Asia. The primary sources translated into English for the first time greatly enhance the value of this book. I highly recommend it for use in undergraduate courses."—Gudrun Bühnemann, author of The Iconography of Hindu Tantric Deities

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Part One. Demons and Battle
1. Bhadrakali: Slaying the Demon in the Backwaters
Noor van Brussel
2. Camundi and Uttanahalli: Sisters of the Mysuru Hills
Caleb Simmons
3. Kausiki: The Virgin Demon Slayer
Judit Törzsök
4. The Seven Mothers: Origin Tales from Two Early Medieval Puranas
Shaman Hatley

Part Two. Miracles and Devotees
5. Svasthani: Goddess of One’s Own Place
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz
6. Kaila Devi: The Great Goddess as Local Avatar of Miracles
R. Jeremy Saul
7. Bahucara Mata: She Who Roams Widely
Darry Dinnell
8. Rastrasena: Hawk Goddess of the Mewar Mountains
Adam Newman

Part Three. Tantras and Magic
9. Rangda in the Calon Arang: A Tale of Magic
Thomas M. Hunter and Ni Wayan Pasek Ariati
10. Tvarita: The Swift Goddess
Michael Slouber
11. Kamesvari: Visualizing the Goddess of Desire
Anna A. Golovkova
12. Avyapadesya: Indefinable Kali
Olga Serbaeva

List of Deities and Characters
Primary Sources
List of Contributors

About the Author:

Michael Slouber is Associate Professor of South Asian Studies at Western Washington University and the author of Early Tantric Medicine.

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December 2020 New Arrivals
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Women's Issues