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Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal Paperback – August 5, 2004


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Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal + Ornament of Stainless Light: An Exposition of the Kalachakra Tantra (Library of Tibetan Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195167910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195167917
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,076,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A well-researched and documented study. ... Highly recommended."--Choice


About the Author


June McDaniel is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Religious Studies Program at the College of Charleston. She is the author of The Madness of the Saints: Ecstatic Religion in Bengal (1989) and Making Virtuous Daughters and Wives: An Introduction to Women's Brata Rituals in Bengali Folk Religion (2002).

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Oreste Reale on May 25, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This magnificent book is a fascinating
journey among a variety of spiritual traditions which can be broadly encompassed under the name of Bengali Shaktism.

The Introduction provides a `classification'
of various Shakta types. Albeit a bit artificial
(these categories should be not taken rigidly because
much overlapping is possible), the use of these `strands'
in the book is a useful tool to emphasize
and appreciate the profound differences existing
between various Shakta types.

Most important, from the anthropological perspective, is the evidence
provided in the First Chapter of some surviving types of
Bengali Shaktism (Folk Shaktism) among the so-called
`tribals' or Adivasis (i.e., those who were in the
land first) which are obviously completely outside the mainstream
of traditional Hinduism. They are `outside' from the scriptural
perspective, mythological perspective, and ritual perspective.
Yet, they are Hindus.
Under the name of `folk' Shaktism the Author reports a complex set of believes incorporated into Hinduism, but still preserving
memories and a heritage of an incredibly ancient, pre-Hindu, past.
The remnant of a Shamanic component, [after Eliade's seminal
work, Shamanism cannot be possibly regarded with contempt, as it
was a century ago] is extremely fascinating and
indirect proof of enormous Antiquity.
The existence of forms of Hinduism among Bengali tribals
which have a surprisingly different mythology,
is a profound evidence of how rich and varied
and intrinsically encompassing true Hinduism is.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sapna S. Nair on February 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is a great way to understand the worship of the great goddess Kali. I like the fact that the written has given varies examples of her worhip through out india. I think it's a great book for people who would like to get to know the goddess Kali.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Fenton Johnson, professor, University of Arizona on September 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Professor McDaniel's "Offering Flowers" presents an exhaustively researched but eminently readable overview of the religious and spiritual practices of the women of rural Bengal. Highly recommended for anyone seeking to learn more about Indian culture as it manifests itself outside of the institutionalized forms. An enjoyable and vivid journey back in time -- or maybe outside of time -- to a place where religious beliefs and rituals are still directly connected to the tangible natural world.
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7 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ayca Gurelman on January 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
i prefer not to write negative feedbacks but this book deserved a real one...

I got this book thinking that it would be a good collection of the objective reviews about goddess worshiping in India by a "professor" - and it was printed by a respectable publisher, what else would i want for a good reference? On the contrary the book turned out to be full of wrong notions.

just a very small excerpt for you to understand what i mean;
"He (Shiva) became blue-throated after drinking poison in an unsuccesful suicide attempt, for he could no longer stand the hunger and poverty he had to endure" p 172 from the book "offering flowers feeding skulls"

Either the author did not read the indian scriptures (Ms McDaniel; if you are reading this review, at least read "shiva puranas" before attempting to write about Shiva) or she is having some second thoughts... in any case, the shame is on her.
Not only her, shame on Oxford University Press, too. I thought they have good editors and they *read and understand* the manuscript before they publish...
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1 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nandu Menon on April 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book shows anybody with a little knowledge about anything can write a book and at least can make some money out of it.

This book clearly shows the author's inability to understand hindu and his attempt to interpret it it the way he wanted to.

It is in many ways an insult to Hindu.
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