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Servants of the goddess: the priests of a South Indian temple

By C. J. Fuller

Abstract

The Minaksi Temple is one of the largest, most celebrated and most popular Hindu temples in India. Situated in the ancient south Indian city of Madurai, it is dedicated to the goddess Minaksi and her husband the god Sundaresvara, a form of the great god Śiva. Minaksi's principal servants in the Temple are the priests who carry out all the elaborate rituals for her and Sundaresvara, and these priests are the subject of this book. Drawing upon his extensive field research in the Temple, Dr Fuller discusses the role of the priests in the Temple and their place in the wider society. He looks at their rights and duties in the Temple, and at the changes in their position that have occurred since the establishment of a modern government and legal system. Throughout his book, the author situates his detailed analysis of the Minaksi Temple priesthood within its wider social and historical context, and relates it to the previous work of anthropologists, as well as of historians, Sanskritists and legal scholars

Topics: GN Anthropology
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 1984
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:12313
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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