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Unformatted text preview: 1 1 MMW3, Section C04 May 2, 2007 Assignment 3: Prospectus Historically, Hinduism has been a religion dominated by three powerful male deities: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Female deities were traditionally classified based on their relationships with male gods as their consorts, and they played a lesser role in religious worship. In the sixth century C.E., however, the concept of the Great Goddess emerged in India, giving rise to goddess cults. Many Hindus began worshipping goddesses as distinct and independent entities with power that rivaled that of their male counterparts. Considering this surprising new change, my research question is: why was there an emergence of the Great Goddess in sixth-century India? I plan to examine the trends that caused these new ideas of female power and independence to arise. Many scholars have addressed the issue of the Great Goddess, but most discuss the different representations of the goddess and the ideals she portrays. For instance, scholars argue about whether the Great Goddess signifies new ideas of femininity. They draw on the independent and strong aspects of the Mahadevi (Great Goddess) that were introduced in the Devi Mahatmya , a Sanskrit text celebrating the female deity that dates...
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- Summer '08