The Dharma of Justice in the Sanskrit Epics Debates on Gender, Varna, and Species

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Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2022-10-31
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
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Author Biography


Ruth Vanita

Ruth Vanita taught at Delhi University for 20 years and is now Professor at the University of Montana. She was founding volunteer co-editor of Manushi, India's first nationwide feminist magazine, and an activist in the Indian women's and civil liberties movements from 1978 to 1991. The author of
many books, including Sappho and the Virgin Mary: Same-Sex Love and the English Literary Imagination; A Play of Light: Selected Poems; Love's Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India (new edition 2020), she has published over 70 scholarly articles and translated several works of fiction and poetry from
Hindi and Urdu. She co-edited the pioneering Same-Sex Love in India: A Literary History. Her first novel, Memory of Light, appeared from Penguin in 2020.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments, Ruth Vanita
1. Introduction
2. Arjuna and Krishna: Friends Discuss the Family
3. Varna: Defined by Birth or by Action?
4. Gender and the Dharma of Singleness, Marriage, and Desire
5. What is Gender?
6. Female-Male Non-Sexual Union
7. Revenge, Forgiveness, and Gender-Crossing
8. Rebirth, Gender, and Rage
9. Gender and the Dharma of Parenting
10. Citizens, Rulers, and Non-Violence
11. Kindness to Animals: the Dharma Most Available to All
12. Animals and the Joys of Intellect: Tulsidas's Crow Narrator and the Hanuman Chalisa

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