The designation "Lord Who Is Half Woman" refers to the androgynous Hindu god Ardhanarisvara (also known as Siva-Sakti). While iconographical aspects of this significant image have been addressed, the complex theological, philosophical, and social implications inherent in a dual gendered deity have not. This book provides the first extensive study of the influence of Ardhanarisvara, exploring four distinct areas of Indian culture, namely iconography, hatha yoga, devotional poetry (bhakti), and mythology. Ellen Goldberg also offers a feminist analysis of the ways in which "male" and "female" have been constructed in this image and the various representations pertaining to the broader gender implications of an androgynous deity.
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