Goddesses and Women in the Indic Religious Tradition goes beyond the traditional sources that lie at the basis for determining the position of goddesses and women in India. Following the lead of a "hermeneutics of surprise" the book identifies, indeed, surprising new material - and conclusions; for example the analysis of Vedic Śrauta ritual. Or by offering surprising conclusions, when the location is obviously one involving women and goddesses, or anthropology discovers that the worship of the Great Goddess temporarily elevates the position of women. Other examples of the effectivity of the "hermeneutics of surprise" are seen when applied to the role of ḍākinīs, Śakti worship, the Marathi Sant tradition, and to Śaṅkara's commentaries.
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