KAHM UNITY WOMEN’S COLLEGE, MANJERI

1. NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR    ASWATHI.M.P

2. NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE INSTITUTION: KAHM UNITY WOMEN’S COLLEGE,           MANJERI

3. UGC APPROVAL NO. AND DATE :MRP (H) – 353 / 12 -13/KLC045/UGC-SWRO  KLCA045 dated 23     SEPTEMBER 2013

4. DATE OF IMPLEMENTATION:                                                  11 NOVEMBER 2013

5. TENURE OF THE PROJECT                                                        21 Months

6. TOTAL GRANT ALLOCATED                                                     Rs. 90000/-

7. TOTAL GRANT RECEIVED                                                         Rs. 67500/-

8. FINAL EXPENDITURE                                                                Rs. 90000/-

9. TITLE OF THE PROJECT                                                            

“EXPLORING SACRED FEMININE: A FEMINISTIC READING OF BY THE RIVER PIEDRA I SAT     DOWN AND WEPT, DA VINCI CODE AND WHAT THE SUFI SAID

10. Objectives of the Project:

  • The project titled Exploring the Sacred Feminine: A Feministic Reading of By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, Da Vinci Code and What the Sufi Said investigated the various aspects of the philosophical, religious, and historical environment of the sacred feminine as a deity to be worshipped, as an eternal mother whose lineage is the humanity.
  • To locate the philosophy behind belief in the female aspect of divine power.
  • To estimate the origin and the tradition of the coinage sacred feminine- the mother Goddess.
  • To incorporate feminist theological approach to analyze the social and cultural factors pertaining to the dislocation of the feminine side of God.
  • To study the texts to find out the connection between female spirituality and nature.
  • To explore the current dimensions of a paradigm shift in spirituality: social, cultural and psychological.
  • To decode the symbolic universe which deeply coloured by hostility to the humanity.

11. Achievement of the objectives and the Project: A Briefing

With the aim to obtain the above mentioned objectives an attempt has been made to evaluate the matriarchal or matrilineal philosophy leading to the philosophical framework of the worship. The philosophy of Sacred feminine was considered, banned or sidelined once under the single patriarchal cultural philosophy and recognized currently under the canopy of plurality. The philosophy is essentially spiritual which has unbreakable ties with nature, biology and history.

The female spiritual tradition was a part of the ancient cultural ideology that women being the creators of the generations, holding the rhythm of life, are the symbols of fertility and with the periodical biological purification they remain invulnerable to the external filth and the embodiment of this womanly spirit of the world is sacred feminine.

Feminist theological approach serves as a catalyst to question, problematize, redefine and at times reject the cultural canonical perspectives, in a mission of understanding female spirituality. It provides rationale for digesting the symbolic spiritual world of the Priory of Sion, of Da Vinci Code, the alternative rituals which are instinct oriented, psychological and spiritual in a necessary female way.

The eco-feministic concern of the duals, nature versus culture has been taken as the key idea to examine the connection between female spirituality and nature. Here the term nature is interpreted in two ways, firstly nature as representing the living organisms on earth, the phenomena and conditions of existence on earth and the earth itself and the basic human nature which does not favour rejection of instincts or bracket male-female union as a secret, a sin and at times a crime.

The postmodern perspective of celebrating and respecting or recognizing the carnivalesque tendencies of society and extending that into the arena of spirituality is stated in all the texts written by men from diverse parts of the globe such as America, India and Brazil. It is a clue regarding the acceptance of the spiritual philosophy from the male territory and can be considered as a re-sacrilisation of the lost goddess and spreads the message of tolerance. The symbolic universe of the blood for fear, wound for renunciation, body for masculine autocracy are replaced with rose representing womb and fertility, water for purification and moon for divine light of peace. The major achievement of this project is a paradigm shift from perceiving God as a divine father and a re-recognition that if idolized the God spiritual omnipresence resembled the peaceful, powerful, fertile female more than the patriarchal protective, fearsome father.

12. Summary of the Findings:

The philosophy of the female worship and the worship on the female Goddess is theology, rather than theology. This philosophy, though essentially feministic, is affiliated to different variants of worship existing in the mainstream society as well as indigenous faiths. It is a philosophy which is used by feminist theologians as a tool for analysis. Da Vinci Code upholds the revised views on the Testaments to seek the origin of the concept sacred feminine. The postmodern technique of faction.i.e. creating a link between fact and fiction is the strategy used to propagate the ontology of sacred femininity. Thus the heritage or the female lineage is unraveled through the alternate rituals, clues hidden in the paintings of secret sect who preserved the faith as private and secret. The text also places the fear of women and selfishness as the reasons for female degradation in the theological sphere at the beginning, spread to the vicinity of female existence resulted in her spiritual predicament. By the River Piedra , I sat down and Wept is a novel which celebrates the attitude of the male worshippers of Sacred feminine, or the immaculate conception. The effect of that worship in the male attitude to women is also explored in the book in a very constructive manner. By exploring the association between female Goddess worship and nature, the need to preserve the ecological treasures was emphasized in the works. The effect of the introduction of Sacred feminine is the paradigm shift in the perception of life, faith, relationships, social stratification, rituals and nature. Rather than conceiving the essence of being as an accidental occurrence , the wisdom of searching the meaning through spirituality without discarding the body was well established through these novels selected for analysis.  So through the study of these novels, the alternative philosophy of love against hatred is proposed.

13. Contribution to the Society:

This project strives to disseminate the significance of women in the society by making the theological, ontological and epistemological investigation. Through the analysis of fiction representing Brazil, India and USA , the mission the study served is to spread the knowledge, which has relevance beyond the realm of fiction. The study unraveled the subaltern voice of women, whose voice and expression is muted under the deceptive propaganda of universal spirituality, which proposed patronymic codes alone. By deconstructing the  existing spiritual centres, manners, methods and objects, the woman’s identity and respectability is projected through the work. To sum up the project is intended to uplift the status of women in all the spheres of the society in the context when violence against women is rampant.

WHETHER ANY PH.D. ENROLLED/PRODUCED.         No

OUT OF THE PROJECT

NO. OF PUBLICATIONS OUT OF THE PROJECT         - 1

Published an Article titled: An Alternative Spiritual Countenance: Exploring the Mystic Feminine in What the Sufi Said in Singularities, a Transdisciplinary Biannual Research Journal; ISSN 2348-3369 Vol  2 Issue 1

(PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR )                                              (REGISTRAR/PRINCIPAL)