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Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Fall 2006

ANS 340 • Goddesses in World Religions and Cultures

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31115 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
PAR 201

Course Description

This course will provide a historical and cross-cultural overview of the relationship between feminine and religious cultural expressions through comparative examinations and analyses of various goddess figures in world religions. We will begin out study in Asia; specifically in India, where goddess worship is a vital part of contemporary Hinduism in all parts of the subcontinent. From the goddesses of the Hindu tradition (Kali and Laksmi, for example), we will move on to female figures in the Buddhist Mahayana pantheon (such as Kuan-Yin, popular in China, Korea, and Japan), and then on to some of the goddesses of western antiquity (Inanna, Isis, Athena, Aphrodite). We will also examine feminine principles in Judaism, and Islam, and will end the course with a close study of Mary as mother, intercessor, and goddess. Issues relating to gender, sexuality, power, and violence (domestic and political) will be emphasized as themes throughout the course.

Grading Policy

2 short topics papers (5-7 pgs) 50% 2 take-home essay exams 50%


Kinsley, David. The Goddesses' Mirror: Visions of the Divine from East and West Pintchman, Tracy. The Rise of the Goddess in the Hindu Tradition Hawley, John Stratton, ed. Sati, the Blessing and the Curse: The Burning of Wives in India Cabezon, Jose Ignaci, ed. Buddhism, Sexuality, and Gender Shaw, Miranda. Passionate Engagement: Women in Tantric Buddhism Warner, Marina. Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary


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