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The Divine Consort: Radha and the Godesses of India

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The Divine Consort: Radha and the Godesses of India
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India is one place where the feminine aspect of divinity has always been appreciated, and this book brings it to light for Western readers. The approach is at once deep and broad. The first part of the book presents a many-sided analysis of a single divinity, Radha, Krishna's lover, and consort. Many devotees regard her as on par with Krishna, or even higher. Various essays explore her history and legacy, her character as it emerges in Sanskrit and vernacular literature, her intimate relation to Krishna, and the theology that surrounds her.

The essays in the second half of the book cast a wider net, depicting female divinities from all over India. There are portraits of Parvati, Kali, Devi, Sitala, Sita, Sri, Pinnai, Valli, and the Ganges. Introductory and concluding essays provide general perspectives on the feminine dimension in Indian religion, and a rich selection of illustrations has been drawn from the collections of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard and the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston.

The volume contains previously unpublished essays from a conference sponsored by the Center for the study of World Religions at Harvard University. The contributors are Charlotte Vaudeville, Barbara Stoler Miller, Donna M. Wulff, John Stratton Hawley, C. Mackenzie Brown, Shrivatsa Goswami, Karine Schomer, Norvin Hein, John B. Carman, Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, David Kinsley, Thomas B. Coburn, Diana L. Eck, Edward C. Dimock, Jr., Richard L. Brubaker, Cornelia Dimmitt, Vasudha Narayanan, Dennis Hudson, Brenda E.F. Beck, Glenn E. Yocum, David M. Wulff, Frederique Appfel Marglin, and A.K. Ramanujan. Notes on the plates are contributed by Vishakha Desai, Joyce M. Paulson, Jitendransinh of Wankaner, and John Hawley.

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