From the Margins of Hindu Marriage: Essays on Gender, Religion, and Culture / Edition 1

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Providing a unique and intimate view of Hindu marriage, the essays in this collection explore points at which the margins of marriage are traversed or transgressed. Rather than focus on normative expectations within marriage, they examine times in which norms are tested or rejected. Using stories, songs, and narrated accounts, the essays treat such topics as widowhood, adultery, levirate, divorce, and suttee, as well as the subversion of marriage by devotion to deities and by alternative constructions of conjugal duty and marital experience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A carefully selected collection of articles that challenges oversimplified accounts of the roles of Hindu women that are drawn from traditional texts alone, introducing us instead, to the lived experiences of real women whose mechanisms for coping are as complex as Indian society itself."—Judith G. Martin, University of Dayton

"This is a rich volume.... Each essay is solid and very readable."—The Journal of Asian Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195081183
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul B. Courtright is Professor of Religion at Emory University.
Lindsey Harlan is Professor of Religion at Connecticut College.

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Table of Contents

Guide to Pronunciation
1 Introduction: On Hindu Marriage and Its Margins 3
2 "Crying When She's Born, and Crying When She Goes Away": Marriage and the Idiom of the Gift in Pahansu Song Performance 19
3 The Dilemmas of Domesticity: Possession and Devotional Experience Among Urban Smarta Women 60
4 No Longer a Wife: Widows in Rural North India 92
5 The "Jungli Rani" and Other Troubled Wives in Rajasthani Oral Traditions 119
6 The Effectiveness of the Hindu Sacrament (Samskara): Caste, Marriage, and Divorce in Bengali Culture 137
7 Begetting on Margin: Adultery and Surrogate Pseudomarriage in Hinduism 160
8 Sati, Sacrifice, and Marriage: The Modernity of Tradition 184
9 Abandoning Shame: Mira and the Margins of Marriage 204
Glossary 228
Bibliography 233
Index 245
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