Kālī's New Frontiers

Rachel Fell McDermott and Jeffrey J. Kripal

in Encountering Kālī

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780520232396
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928176 | DOI:
Kālī's New Frontiers

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This chapter begins with two depictions of Kālī, both by Western women, exemplifying the extremes of possible interpretation. The first figure is similar to India's “calendar art” style of portraying the four-armed Goddess, whereas the second figure is reflective of Western views of the Goddess as powerfully sexual. This chapter discusses Kālī on the Internet, using sources such as websites, Internet news groups, and electronic magazines. Feminist and New Age proponents of Kālī have been criticized by Hindus living in the West as representative of a wave of neocolonialists; to some such critics, these Western interpreters and appropriators of the Goddess are every bit as insidious as those of the past two centuries. This chapter looks at Kālī-associated themes on the Internet, including Kālī and female empowerment, Tantra and sex, Kālī-centered New Age rituals, and Kālī in dance, theater, art, and advertising.

Keywords: Kālī; Internet; India; New Age; female empowerment; Tantra; sex; rituals; dance; art

Chapter.  9412 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Hinduism

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