Author: Rachel Fell McDermott
Jeffrey J Kripal/
Editor(s): Rachel Fell McDermott / Jeffrey J Kripal
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
ISBN/UPC (if available): 812082041X
Encountering Kali explores one of the most remarkable divinities the world has seen. The Hindu goddess Kali is simultaneously understood as a blood-thirsty warrior, a deity of ritual possession, a Tantric sexual partner, and an all-loving, compassionate mother. Popular and scholarly interest in her has been on the rise in the West in recent years. Responding to this phenomenon, McDermott and Kripal’s volume focuses on the complexities involved in interpreting Kali in both her indigenous South Asian settings and her more recent Western incarnations.
Through the shifting lenses of scriptural history, temple architecture, political violence, feminist and psychoanalystic criticism, autobiographical reflection, and the goddess’s recent guises on the Internet, the contributors pose questions that illuminate our understanding of Kali while addressing the problems and promises inherent in every act of cross-cultural interpretation.
A book that captures the sexy, gory power of the dark goddess who is the most exciting of all Hindu deities-and perhaps the most controversial and notorious of all deities. Academically profound and theoretically subtle, these essays are also vivid and juicy.
Author of The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade
A Sharp and Challenging book-the essential starting point for new century of encountering Kali.
-John Stratton Hawley
Coeditor of Devi: Goddesses of India
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
ABOUT THE CHAPTER SILHOUETTES
NOTES ON TRANSLITERATION
INTRODUCING KALI STUDIES
PART I: KALI IN THE TEXTS AND CONTEXTS OF SOUTH ASIA
Kali the Terrific and Her Tests: the Sakta Devotionalism of the Mahabhagavata Purana
The Domestication of a Goddess: Carana-tirtha Kalighat, the Mahapitha of Kali
Dominating Kali: Hindu family Values and Tantric Power
Kali in a Context of terror: The Tasks of a Goddess in Sri Lanka’s Civil War
Kali Mayi: Myth and Reality in a Banaras Ghetto
PART II: KALI IN WESTERN SETTINGS, WESTERN DISCOURSES
Wrestling with Kali: South Asian and British Constructions of the Dark Goddess
India’s Darkest Heart: Kali in the Colonial Imagination
Why the Tantrika Is a Hero: Kali in the Psychoanalytic Tradition
Doing the Mother’s Caribbean Work: On Shakti and Society in Contemporary Trinidad
Margins at the Center: Tracing Kali through Time, Space, and Culture
Kali’s New Frontiers: A Hindu Goddess on the Internet
Appendix: Documentary Film and Video Resources for Teaching on Kali and Fierce Goddesses
LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS