Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

 

Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft

Editor-in-Chief: Freiberger, Oliver / Kleine, Christoph

Ed. by Beinhauer-Köhler, Bärbel / Franke, Edith / Walthert, Rafael


CiteScore 2018: 0.11

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.114
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.479

Online
ISSN
2194-508X
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 23, Issue 2

Issues

Fight, flight, freeze, fool, or pray

Comparative perspectives on gender, violence and religion

Florence Pasche Guignard
Published Online: 2015-09-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfr-2015-0013

Abstract

This article explores the intersection of gender, violence and religion from a comparative perspective while providing a reflexive and critical assessment of this particular research design. While the article opens with comments on a recent and highly mediated case of gendered violence in India, the main case studies are drawn from a variety of literary sources from ancient Greece and early-modern India. The comparison is both intracontextual and cross-cultural and focuses on the representations in mythical, hagiographical, and historiographical narratives of feminine figures confronted with human assaulters. It examines a range of possible reactions – beyond the popular motto “fight, flight, or freeze” – some of which involve interventions attributed to gods or goddesses. The comparative study of examples drawn from different religious contexts complicates the dichotomy according to which religion either increases or prevents violence against women or – in representations – feminine figures. The comparative process also creates or refines research lines that may, in turn, yield more precise research questions applicable on other cases as well.

Zusammenfassung

Der Aufsatz untersucht die Schnittmenge von Gender, Gewalt und Religion aus einer vergleichenden Perspektive und bietet gleichzeitig eine reflexive und kritische Bewertung dieses speziellen Forschungsdesigns. Der Aufsatz beginnt mit Bemerkungen zu einem aktuellen und stark medienpräsenten Fall von durch Gender geprägten Gewalt in Indien; die meisten der folgenden Fallbeispiele stammen aus verschiedenen literarischen Quellen des Antiken Griechenland und des frühneuzeitlichen Indien. Die Gegenüberstellung wird sowohl innerhalb des Kontextes als auch über die Kulturen hinaus vorgenommen und legt den Schwerpunkt auf die Darstellungen in mythischen, hagiographischen und historiographischen Erzählungen über weibliche Figuren, die sich menschlichen Angreifern gegenüber sehen. Der Artikel beleuchtet zahlreiche mögliche Reaktionen – jenseits dem bekannten Motto “Kampf, Flucht oder Erstarren” –, von denen einige Interventionen beinhalten, die Göttern oder Göttinnen zugeschrieben werden. Die vergleichende Analyse von Beispielen, die aus verschiedenen religiösen Kontexten stammen, verkompliziert die Dichotomie, laut der Religion Gewalt gegen Frauen oder – in Darstellungen – gegen weibliche Figuren verstärkt oder verhindert. Die vergleichende Bearbeitung ermöglicht es zudem, Forschungslinien zu entwerfen oder zu verfeinern, die wiederum präzisere Fragestellungen ergeben können, welche dann auch auf andere Fälle anwendbar sind.

Keywords: Violence; Gender; Comparison; Ancient Greece; Early-modern India

Schlüsselwörter: Gewalt; Gender; Vergleich; Antikes Griechenland; frühneuzeitliches Indien

Bibliography

  • Bhatnagar, Rashmi, Renu Dube and Reena Dube. 2004. “Meera’s Medieval Lyric Poetry in Postcolonial India: The Rhetorics of Women’s Writing in Dialect as a Secular Practice of Subaltern Coautorship and Dissent.” Boundary 2 31/3:1–46.Google Scholar

  • Bloomsfield, Maurice. 1924. “On False Ascetics and Nuns in Hindu Fiction.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 44:202–242.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Borgeaud, Philippe. 1986. “Le problème du comparatisme en histoire des religions.” Revue européenne des sciences sociales 24:59–75.Google Scholar

  • Burger, Maya and Claude Calame, eds. 2006. Comparer les comparatismes. Perspectives sur l’histoire et les sciences des religions. Paris-Milan: Edidit-Archè.Google Scholar

  • Brym, Robert J. 2014. Sociology as a Life or Death Issue. Third Canadian Edition. Toronto: Nelson.Google Scholar

  • Callewaert, Winand M. 1991. “The ‘earliest’ song of Mīrā (1503–1546).” Orientalia Lovaniensis Periodica 22:201–214.Google Scholar

  • Callewaert, Winand M. 1995. “Kabir: Do We Sing His Songs or Someone Else’s?” In The Intimate Other. Love Divine in Indic Religions, ed. Anna King and John L. Brockington, 129–152. New Delhi: Orient Longman.Google Scholar

  • Callewaert, Winand M. 1998. “Is the Poet Behind the Texts?” Journal of Indian Philosophy 26/5: 405–417.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Das, Veena. 2006. “The Figure of the Abducted Woman: The Citizen as Sexed.” In Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary, 18–31. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

  • Deacy, Susan and Karen F. Pierce, eds. 1997. Rape in Antiquity. Sexual Violence in the Greek and Roman Worlds. London: Duckworth – The Classical Press of Wales.Google Scholar

  • Deacy, Susan and Fiona McHardy. 2014. “Sexual Violence: Greek World.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies, ed. Julia O’Brien, 356–360. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Dutta, Debolina and Sircar, Oishik. 2013. “India’s Winter of Discontent: Some Feminist Dilemmas in the Wake of a Rape.” Feminist Studies 39/1: 293–306.Google Scholar

  • Freidenreich, David M. 2004. “Comparisons Compared: A Methodological Survey of Comparisons of Religion from ‘A Magic Dwells’ to A Magic Still Dwells.” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 16:80–101.Google Scholar

  • Gaca, Kathy L. 2011. “Girls, Women, and the Significance of Sexual Violence in Ancient Warfare.” In Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones: From the Ancient World to the Era of Human Rights, ed. Elizabeth D. Heineman, 73–87. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar

  • Guettel Cole, Susan. 2004. Landscapes, Gender, and Ritual Space: The Ancient Greek Experience. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

  • Harlan, Lindsey. 1992. Religion and Rajput Women: The Ethic of Protection in Contemporary Narratives. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

  • Hawley, John Stratton. 1987. “Morality Beyond Morality in the Lives of Three Hindu Saints.” In Saints and Virtues, ed. John Stratton Hawley, 52–72. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

  • Hawley, John Stratton. 1997. “The Saints Subdued: Domestic Virtue and National Integration in Amar Chitra Katha.” In Media and the Transformation of Religion in South Asia, ed. Lawrence A. Babb and ‎Susan S. Wadley, 107–134. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.Google Scholar

  • Hawley, John Stratton. 2005. Three Bhakti Voices: Mirabai, Surdas and Kabir in Their Time and Ours. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Jain, Pratibha and Sangeeta Sharma. 2004. Honour, Status & Polity. Jaipur/New Delhi: Rawat Publications.Google Scholar

  • Johnson, Marguerite and Terry Ryan, eds. 2005. Sexuality in Greek and Roman Society and Literature: A Sourcebook. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Idinopulos, Thomas Athanasius, Brian C. Wilson and James Constantine Hanges, eds. 2006. Comparing Religions: Possibilities and Perils? Leiden/Boston: Brill.Google Scholar

  • Khandelwal, Meena. 2004. Women in Ochre Robes: Gendering Hindu Renunciation. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar

  • Lefkowitz, Mary R. 2007. Women in Greek Myth. Second Edition. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar

  • Lincoln, Bruce. 1996. “Theses on Method.” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 8/3:225–227.Google Scholar

  • Martin-Kershaw, Nancy M. 1996. Dyed in the Color of Her Lord: Multiple Representations in the Mirabai Tradition. Ph. D. diss. Berkeley: University of California.Google Scholar

  • Martin, Nancy. 1999. “Mīrābāī: Inscribed in Text, Embodied in Life.” In Vaiṣṇavī: Women and the Worship of Krishna, ed. Steven J. Rosen, 7–46. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.Google Scholar

  • Martin-Kershaw, Nancy. 2000. “Mirabai in the Academy and the Politics of Identity.” In Faces of the Feminine in Ancien, Medieval, and Modern India, ed. Madakranta Bose, 162–182. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • McCaughey, Marta. 1997. Real Knockouts: The Physical Feminism of Women’s Self-Defense. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar

  • Pasche Guignard, Florence. 2010. “‘Go West, Mīrā!’ Translating Medieval Bhakti Poetry.” In India in Translation through Hindi literature. A Plurality of Voices, ed. Nicola Pozza and Maya Burger, 195–234. Bern: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

  • Pasche Guignard, Florence. 2012. De quelques figures féminines en transaction avec des dieux. Exercice d’exploration thématique différentielle en histoire des religions. Ph.D. diss. Lausanne: Université de Lausanne.Google Scholar

  • Pauwels, Heid. 2010a. “Rāṭhauṛī Mīrā: Two Neglected Rāṭhaur Connections of Mīrā – Jaimal Meṛtīyo and Nāgrīdās.” International Journal of Hindu Studies 14/2–3:177–200.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Pauwels, Heid. 2010b. “‘The Woman Waylaid at the Well’ or Paṇaghaṭa-līlā. An Indian Folk Theme Appropriated in Myth and Movies.” Asian Ethnology 69/1:1–33.Google Scholar

  • Payen, Pascal. 2004. “Femmes, armées civiques et fonction combattante en Grèce ancienne (VIIe–IVe siècle avant J.-C.).” Clio. Histoire, femmes et sociétés 20:15–41.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Pomeroy, Sarah B. 2002. Spartan Women. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Rosen, Ralph M. and Ineke Sluiter, eds. 2003. Andreia. Studies in Manliness and Courage in Classical Antiquity. Leiden/Boston: Brill.Google Scholar

  • Sebillotte Cuchet, Violaine. 2008. “Représenter les sexes. Réflexions à partir de publications récentes sur le genre et l’antiquité grecque.” Perspective 2008: 2–24.Google Scholar

  • Sommerstein, Alan H. 1998. “Rape and Young Manhood in Athenian Comedy.” In Thinking Men: Masculinity and its Self-Representation in the Classical Tradition, ed. Lin Foxhall and John Salmon, 100–114. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Sorkin Rabinowitz, Nancy. 2011. “Greek Tragedy: A Rape Culture?” Eugesta 1:1–21.Google Scholar

  • Smith, Jonathan Z. 2000. “The ‘End’ of Comparison: Redescription and Rectification.” In: A Magic Still Dwells: Comparative Religion in the Postmodern Age, ed. Kimberly C. Patton and Benjamin C. Ray, 237–241. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

  • Stausberg, Michael. 2011. “Comparison.” In The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in the Study of Religion, ed. Michael Stausberg and Steven Engler, 21–39. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Strenski, Ivan. 2003. “Why It Is Better to Know Some of the Questions Than All of the Answers.” Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 15/2:169–186.Google Scholar

  • Taft, Frances. 2002. “The Elusive Historical Mirabai: A Note.” In Multiple Histories: Culture and Society in the Study of Rajasthan, ed. Lawrence A. Babb, Varsha Joshi and Michael W. Meister, 313–335. Jaipur/New Delhi: Rawat Publications.Google Scholar

  • Talwar Oldenburg, Veena. 1994. “The Continuing Invention of the Sati Tradition.” In: Sati. The Blessing and the Curse. The Burning of Wives in India, ed. John Stratton Hawley, 159–173. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Urban, Hugh B. 2003. “The Power of the Impure: Transgression, Violence and Secrecy in Bengali Śākta Tantra and Modern Western Magic.” Numen 50/1:269–308.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Zeitlin, Froma. 1986. “Configurations of Rape in Greek Myth.” In Rape, ed. Sylvana Tomaselli and Roy Porter, 122–151. Oxford/New York: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Ancient sources, editions, translations, and digital tools

      Ancient Greece

      • Sources and dictionaries were accessed through the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae. A Digital Library of Greek Literature, http://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/ (last access: July 9, 2015).

      • Fischer, K. T. (post I. Bekker & L. Dindorf) and F. Vogel, eds. 1952–1967. Diodori Bibliotheca Historica. Leipzig: Teubner.Google Scholar

      • Jones, W.H.S, Litt. D., and Ormerod M.A, ed. transl. 1918. Pausanias Description of Greece with an English Translation. Cambridge: Harvard University Press – London, William Heinemann Ltd.Google Scholar

      • The Online Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek-English Lexicon, http://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/lsj/#eid=4554&context=lsj&action=hw-list-click (access: April 20, 2015).

      • Oldfather, Charles-Henry, transl. 1952–1967. Diodorus of Sicily. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

      • Spiro, Fridericus, ed. 1903. Pausaniae Graeciae Descriptio. Leipzig: Teubner.Google Scholar

      Early-modern India

      • Alston, Anthony John, transl. 1980. The Devotional Poems of Mīrābāi. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.Google Scholar

      • Caturvedī, Paraśurām, ed. 1989 (1932). Mīrāṁbāī kī Padāvalī. Ilāhābād: Hindī Sāhitya Sammelana.Google Scholar

      • Kumar, Kavita, transl. 2004. Mīrā. The Emancipated Soul. New Delhi: Harman Publishing House.Google Scholar

      • Śaśiprabhā. 1974. Mīrāṃkoś. Ilāhābād: Smṛti Prakāśan.Google Scholar

    Ancient sources, editions, translations, and digital tools

      Ancient Greece

      • Sources and dictionaries were accessed through the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae. A Digital Library of Greek Literature, http://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/ (last access: July 9, 2015).

      • Fischer, K. T. (post I. Bekker & L. Dindorf) and F. Vogel, eds. 1952–1967. Diodori Bibliotheca Historica. Leipzig: Teubner.Google Scholar

      • Jones, W.H.S, Litt. D., and Ormerod M.A, ed. transl. 1918. Pausanias Description of Greece with an English Translation. Cambridge: Harvard University Press – London, William Heinemann Ltd.Google Scholar

      • The Online Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek-English Lexicon, http://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/lsj/#eid=4554&context=lsj&action=hw-list-click (access: April 20, 2015).

      • Oldfather, Charles-Henry, transl. 1952–1967. Diodorus of Sicily. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

      • Spiro, Fridericus, ed. 1903. Pausaniae Graeciae Descriptio. Leipzig: Teubner.Google Scholar

      Early-modern India

      • Alston, Anthony John, transl. 1980. The Devotional Poems of Mīrābāi. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.Google Scholar

      • Caturvedī, Paraśurām, ed. 1989 (1932). Mīrāṁbāī kī Padāvalī. Ilāhābād: Hindī Sāhitya Sammelana.Google Scholar

      • Kumar, Kavita, transl. 2004. Mīrā. The Emancipated Soul. New Delhi: Harman Publishing House.Google Scholar

      • Śaśiprabhā. 1974. Mīrāṃkoś. Ilāhābād: Smṛti Prakāśan.Google Scholar

      About the article

      Published Online: 2015-09-10

      Published in Print: 2015-09-01


      Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft, Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 285–319, ISSN (Online) 2194-508X, ISSN (Print) 0943-8610, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfr-2015-0013.

      Export Citation

      © 2015 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

      Citing Articles

      Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

      [1]
      Oliver Freiberger
      Religions, 2018, Volume 9, Number 2, Page 38

      Comments (0)

      Please log in or register to comment.
      Log in