The Sacred Feminine: Religious Perceptions of Women & the Sacred Feminine in Hinduism


Name Email Phone
Patricia Herrling    


This class will explore how the wide range of sacred texts and iconography in Hinduism has defined the Sacred Feminine.  We will focus on the pantheon of Hindu goddesses from consort wives of the deities such as Paravati and Sri-Laksmi to the dark goddesses, Durga and Kali, to the universal mother goddess, Mahadevi.   How did and do these goddesses continue to define the role of women?   We also will look at the sacred laws and rituals and how they prescribed the duties and responsibilities of women.  How do these strictures continue to manifest in the lives of Hindu women today? 


 Madison Senior Center

Meeting Day


Meeting Time

 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Start Date

 September 29, 2017

End Date

 December 1, 2017


 Regular reading/discussion

Class Size

Class Notes

No class October 20 and November 24.

Course Syllabus

Week One Course Readings

Rebirth of the Goddess /Carol Christ (p.50-59 required)

The Great Transformation / Karen Armstrong (Selected pages)

Hindu Chronology                 Glossary of Hindu Terms

Week One Powerpoint Slides

Week 2 Powerpoint Slides

Hindu Concepts   Hindu Practices and Texts

Week 3 Powerpoint Slides

Nature of Hinduism and Hindu Deities     IVC and The Aryans

Early Vedic Goddesses

Sri Laksmi            Parvati and Sita                  Saraswati and Radha

Week 4 Powerpoint Slides

Key Points from Bose Reading

Durga and Kali               Matrkas and Mahavidyas

Week 5 Powerpoint Slides

Vedic Shift        Local Goddesses Shakti Mahadevi

Sacred Geography

Week 6 Powerpoint Slides

Trimarga and Bhakti    Bhakti  Women Poets    Tantrism

Mudras, Mantras, Mandalas and Chakras


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