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Encountering The Divine Mother In Hindu And Christian Hymns

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Chapter Summary

What are Christians to do with the invitation and the powers of sacred Hindu hymns addressed to the Divine Mother, the Divine Consort, or the Supreme Goddess particularly in relation to the tradition of Mary available to Catholicism? In this piece, this chapter explores how texts from the Tantric tradition, such as the Saundarya Lahari, may assist in awakening the Catholic religious and inter-religious imaginations. The Saundarya Lahari is rooted in the context of south Indian tantra. For a comparison with the powerful and richly developed one hundred verses of the Saundarya Lahari the author has chosen the stark, spare, brilliant Stabat Mater, a medieval Latin hymn of just ten verses. It begins by contemplating Mary standing in grief at the cross of Her son, and ends by asking her to bestow on the viewer the life and saving power sent forth by Jesus who died.

Keywords: Christian Hymns; Divine Mother; Hindu hymns; Saundarya Lahari; Stabat Mater



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