Represenatation of goddess in Shakta tradition: theory and practice
Author(s): Bineeta Dash
Contemporary intellectual debates in religious studies especially revolve around the issues of relationship between religion and politics along with religion and gender, which is the direct result of development of postmodern ideology. On the eve of postmodern discourse, intellectuals are questioning and challenging the traditional and rationalists view of religion and its increasing importance to male centric ideology. So the recent scholarship has begun to uncover and explore the marginalised tradions in which special attention is given to studies on Shakta Shrines or the Goddesses. Focusing upon literature, it is found that there are a growing number of studies pertaining to temples and male goddesses where as the number of studies conducted for female goddess are only a few in number and those few studies has viewed the goddess from a feminist and gender perspective by contrasting female category with their male counterpart. Again, these literatures have only focused upon the issues like theological, cultural-anthropological and historical aspects of the goddess. Meanwhile, issues like the relationship between language and reality, the status of the goddess in social context and the negotiating gulf between precept and practice is rarely examined, which are essential aspects for sociology of religion. Against this background, the present paper intends to analyse the representation of the goddess in Shakta tradition on the basis of some important and noteworthy review of literatures.