Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Kerala Christian SainthoodCollisions of Culture and Worldview in South India$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Corinne G. Dempsey

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130287

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195130286.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 26 April 2018

The Life and Cult of Sr. Alphonsa

The Life and Cult of Sr. Alphonsa

A Celebration of Complexity and Paradox

Chapter:
(p.115) 4 The Life and Cult of Sr. Alphonsa
Source:
Kerala Christian Sainthood
Author(s):

Corinne G. Dempsey (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195130286.003.0005

Explores prominent themes in Alphonsa's hagiography as a means to compare Christian and Hindu perspectives and practices of female asceticism. While Christian and Hindu traditions have much in common in this regard, most strikingly different is the fact that Catholic Christianity commonly considers the female renouncer to be the pinnacle of holiness for women, while for some Hindu traditions, particularly Brahmanical Hinduism, female renunciation is a decided aberration. Referring back to postcolonial theory fleshed out in earlier chapters, this final chapter portrays Alphonsa as following normative religious prescriptions for female sanctity, yet ironically, through their fulfillment, she molds and transcends the same. The paradox of Alphonsa's devotional cult gets reflected furthermore through the story of a woman who was beaten down by life, enduring physical and emotional hardship throughout, yet whose posthumous powers are understood as a means for relieving the pain and suffering of her devotees.

Keywords:   asceticism, Catholic, female renunciation, female sanctity, hagiography, Hindu, postcolonial theory, Sr. Alphonsa, suffering

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .