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Given to the Goddess: South Indian Devadasis and the Sexuality of Religion (Paperback)
  • Given to the Goddess: South Indian Devadasis and the Sexuality of Religion (Paperback)
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Given to the Goddess: South Indian Devadasis and the Sexuality of Religion (Paperback)

(author)
£21.99
Paperback 296 Pages / Published: 17/09/2014
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Who and what are marriage and sex for? Whose practices and which ways of talking to god can count as religion? Lucinda Ramberg considers these questions based upon two years of ethnographic research on an ongoing South Indian practice of dedication in which girls, and sometimes boys, are married to a goddess. Called devadasis, or jogatis, those dedicated become female and male women who conduct the rites of the goddess outside the walls of her main temple and transact in sex outside the bounds of conjugal matrimony. Marriage to the goddess, as well as the rites that the dedication ceremony authorizes jogatis to perform, have long been seen as illegitimate and criminalized. Kinship with the goddess is productive for the families who dedicate their children, Ramberg argues, and yet it cannot conform to modern conceptions of gender, family, or religion. This nonconformity, she suggests, speaks to the limitations of modern categories, as well as to the possibilities of relations-between and among humans and deities-that exceed such categories.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822357247
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 404 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"This excellent book makes a significant contribution to religion and kinship, gender, sexuality, and South Asian studies.... Highly recommended." -- D. A. Chekki * Choice *
"This is a beautifully written and theoretically engaged ethnography about a community whose past has been fraught and whose future lies in the balance. It would be appropriate reading for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses and makes an important contribution to the anthropology of gender, sexuality, kinship, religion, and modernity in India." -- Cecilia Van Hollen * Medical Anthropology Quarterly *
"We must dwell with, as Given to the Goddess gracefully does, the everyday experiences of devotion, exchange, and one's social relationship to another-human, nonhuman, or even goddess-that make us, quite simply, kin." -- Durba Mitra * GLQ *
"Ramberg's work exemplifies an extraordinary synthesis of animated empiricism and theoretical rigor. It is heartening to mark the arrival of this very important work that signals a critical departure in several ways." -- Priyadarshini Vijaisri * Anthropos *

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