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Women's Lives, Women's Rituals in the Hindu Tradition$
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Tracy Pintchman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177060

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195177060.001.0001

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 Domesticity and Difference/Women and Men: Religious Life in Medieval Tamilnadu

 Domesticity and Difference/Women and Men: Religious Life in Medieval Tamilnadu

(p.109) 6 Domesticity and Difference/Women and Men: Religious Life in Medieval Tamilnadu
Women's Lives, Women's Rituals in the Hindu Tradition

Leslie C. Orr

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores whether a domestic religious orientation, engaged with the personal and the particular, can be observed in the context of precolonial South India. It focuses on the period between the 9th to 13th centuries in the part of India known today as Tamilnadu. The chapter draws on the resources provided by the thousands of inscriptions written in the Tamil language and engraved in stone on the walls of Hindu and Jain temples during this period. These inscriptions record actions, particularly the making of gifts to temples by a wide variety of people. It is argued that although men's and women's activities recorded on temple walls had distinctive colorings, the contexts, roles, and motives for these actions were overlapping and often congruent.

Keywords:   Tamilnadu, Hindu temples, Jain temples, domesticity, ritual practice, gift giving, vow taking

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