Possessed by the Virgin

Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, and Marian Possession in South India

Price: 3100.00 INR

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ISBN:

9780190615093

Publication date:

23/07/2018

Hardback

352 pages

Price: 3100.00 INR

We sell our titles through other companies
Disclaimer :You will be redirected to a third party website.The sole responsibility of supplies, condition of the product, availability of stock, date of delivery, mode of payment will be as promised by the said third party only. Prices and specifications may vary from the OUP India site.

ISBN:

9780190615093

Publication date:

23/07/2018

Hardback

352 pages

Kristin C. Bloomer

Rights:  OUP USA (INDIAN TERRITORY)

Kristin C. Bloomer

Description

In the early 1980s, in a rural village in South India, a Dalit woman miscarried. She hovered on the edge of deathuntil the Virgin Mary led her to a chapel and possessed her. For years, hundreds of ailing Catholics and Hindus came to this woman for healing, and Mary made them well.
Two decades later, in the metropolis of Chennai, a boy named Alex lay in his hospital bed sick with fever when the Virgin Mary appeared to him and told him to walk. He didand at home, he felt Mary enter his body. Soon, his older cousin Rosalind also showed signs of Marian possession. Mary told them that her name was "Jecintho." Within three years, another young woman in Chennai also became possessed by Jecintho and began exhibiting signs of stigmata: blood flowing from her hands and eyes.
Possessed by the Virgin is an ethnographic account of Marian possession, healing, and exorcism among Catholics and Hindus in southeast India. Following the lives of three Tamil Roman Catholic women for more than a decade, Kristin C. Boomer attends to the women's own descriptions of their experience with Marian possession, as well as to those of the people who came to them for healing. Her book investigates how possession is possible and in what contexts such experiences can be read as authentic. Roman Catholic officials have responded in various ways: banning certain activities while promoting others. Their responses reflect the complicated relationship of the Roman Catholic Church with non-Christian religious practices on the Indian subcontinent, where "possession" (a term introduced by missionaries) involving deities and spirits has long been commonplace and where gods, goddesses and spirits have long inhabited people. This ground sets the stage for Bloomer to explore questions of agency, gender, subjectivity, and power, and the complex interconnection between the ethnographic "Self" and the "Other."

About the Author
Kristin C. Bloomer is Associate Professor of Religion at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Kristin C. Bloomer

Table of contents

Acknowledgments
Dramatis Personae
Note on Transliteration
Regional Map of South India
Introduction
1. Rosalind
2. The Place, the People, the Practices:
Our Lady Jecintho and the Quest for Embodied Wholeness
3. Authenticity and Double Trouble:
The Case of Nancy-as-Jecintho
4. Possession, Processions, and Authority
Interlude
5. Return to Maataapuram
6. Women's Work, Gendered Space, And the Dangerous Labor of (Virgin) Birth
7. Memory, Mimesis, and Healing
8. Conclusion: Departures and Homecomings
Bibliography

Kristin C. Bloomer

Kristin C. Bloomer

Review

"Bloomer's book is a compelling account of religious plurality and gendered agency in an India that is increasingly under the stifling stranglehold of Hindu nationalism. In this, its attention to the minutiae of the lives of women who claim to be possessed by the Virgin Mary allows the book to tell a story about everyday inhabitations of religion that critique and subvert hegemonic forms, creating sites of potential in local contexts, even as they do not enact wide-ranging structural transformations."
- Sneha Krishnan, Reading Religion
"I know of no book remotely like Kristin Bloomer's Possessed by the Virgin. It reads like a powerful, beautifully written novel; the people are so real, you cannot wait to find out what happens to them. But the same detail that brings the characters to lifeparticularly but not only the Indian women who are possessed by Maryis also what gives the book its solid authenticity as a great work of scholarship, a path-breaking study of villagers and city-dwellers who live passionately in two religions, Marian Catholicism and Tamil Hinduism. Bloomer captures in rich historical, anthropological, and richly literary detail the tragedy of Dalit (Untouchable) life and the astonishing power of religion to heal."
- Wendy Doniger, author of On Hinduism
"From the borrowed bodies of three Tamil women, the Virgin Mary acts and speaks. Tracing the effects of possession practices as they defy and perpetuate social, political, and religious norms, Bloomer also carefully attends to each woman's struggles and victories in ways that respectfully humanize. Sophisticated and moving, accessibly written with stunning detail, this book is a scholarly achievement that is very hard to put down."
- Corinne Dempsey, author of Bridges between Worlds: Spirits and Spirit Work in Northern Iceland
"Bloomer's descriptive virtuosity graces the work, and surpasses that of many other excellent ethnographies in its uncommon sympathy, even tenderness, for those she describes. With the novelist's ability to evoke, and the poet's ability to do so economically, Bloomer's storytelling is so powerful and poignant that the reader sometimes realizes only after reflection what a profound contribution Possessed by the Virgin has made to ongoing scholarly discussions of gender, hegemony, selfhood, and agency."
- Chad M. Bauman, Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Religion and Classics, Butler University

Kristin C. Bloomer

Description

In the early 1980s, in a rural village in South India, a Dalit woman miscarried. She hovered on the edge of deathuntil the Virgin Mary led her to a chapel and possessed her. For years, hundreds of ailing Catholics and Hindus came to this woman for healing, and Mary made them well.
Two decades later, in the metropolis of Chennai, a boy named Alex lay in his hospital bed sick with fever when the Virgin Mary appeared to him and told him to walk. He didand at home, he felt Mary enter his body. Soon, his older cousin Rosalind also showed signs of Marian possession. Mary told them that her name was "Jecintho." Within three years, another young woman in Chennai also became possessed by Jecintho and began exhibiting signs of stigmata: blood flowing from her hands and eyes.
Possessed by the Virgin is an ethnographic account of Marian possession, healing, and exorcism among Catholics and Hindus in southeast India. Following the lives of three Tamil Roman Catholic women for more than a decade, Kristin C. Boomer attends to the women's own descriptions of their experience with Marian possession, as well as to those of the people who came to them for healing. Her book investigates how possession is possible and in what contexts such experiences can be read as authentic. Roman Catholic officials have responded in various ways: banning certain activities while promoting others. Their responses reflect the complicated relationship of the Roman Catholic Church with non-Christian religious practices on the Indian subcontinent, where "possession" (a term introduced by missionaries) involving deities and spirits has long been commonplace and where gods, goddesses and spirits have long inhabited people. This ground sets the stage for Bloomer to explore questions of agency, gender, subjectivity, and power, and the complex interconnection between the ethnographic "Self" and the "Other."

About the Author
Kristin C. Bloomer is Associate Professor of Religion at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

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Reviews

"Bloomer's book is a compelling account of religious plurality and gendered agency in an India that is increasingly under the stifling stranglehold of Hindu nationalism. In this, its attention to the minutiae of the lives of women who claim to be possessed by the Virgin Mary allows the book to tell a story about everyday inhabitations of religion that critique and subvert hegemonic forms, creating sites of potential in local contexts, even as they do not enact wide-ranging structural transformations."
- Sneha Krishnan, Reading Religion
"I know of no book remotely like Kristin Bloomer's Possessed by the Virgin. It reads like a powerful, beautifully written novel; the people are so real, you cannot wait to find out what happens to them. But the same detail that brings the characters to lifeparticularly but not only the Indian women who are possessed by Maryis also what gives the book its solid authenticity as a great work of scholarship, a path-breaking study of villagers and city-dwellers who live passionately in two religions, Marian Catholicism and Tamil Hinduism. Bloomer captures in rich historical, anthropological, and richly literary detail the tragedy of Dalit (Untouchable) life and the astonishing power of religion to heal."
- Wendy Doniger, author of On Hinduism
"From the borrowed bodies of three Tamil women, the Virgin Mary acts and speaks. Tracing the effects of possession practices as they defy and perpetuate social, political, and religious norms, Bloomer also carefully attends to each woman's struggles and victories in ways that respectfully humanize. Sophisticated and moving, accessibly written with stunning detail, this book is a scholarly achievement that is very hard to put down."
- Corinne Dempsey, author of Bridges between Worlds: Spirits and Spirit Work in Northern Iceland
"Bloomer's descriptive virtuosity graces the work, and surpasses that of many other excellent ethnographies in its uncommon sympathy, even tenderness, for those she describes. With the novelist's ability to evoke, and the poet's ability to do so economically, Bloomer's storytelling is so powerful and poignant that the reader sometimes realizes only after reflection what a profound contribution Possessed by the Virgin has made to ongoing scholarly discussions of gender, hegemony, selfhood, and agency."
- Chad M. Bauman, Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Religion and Classics, Butler University

Read More

Table of contents

Acknowledgments
Dramatis Personae
Note on Transliteration
Regional Map of South India
Introduction
1. Rosalind
2. The Place, the People, the Practices:
Our Lady Jecintho and the Quest for Embodied Wholeness
3. Authenticity and Double Trouble:
The Case of Nancy-as-Jecintho
4. Possession, Processions, and Authority
Interlude
5. Return to Maataapuram
6. Women's Work, Gendered Space, And the Dangerous Labor of (Virgin) Birth
7. Memory, Mimesis, and Healing
8. Conclusion: Departures and Homecomings
Bibliography

Read More