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Education The Faculty Graduate Schools Graduate School Theology and Religious Studies PhD Programme PhD ceremonies Graduations 2005

10-01-'05 | Y. Yokochi

From ‘little tribal goddesses’ to supreme Warrior Goddess

In India, great numbers of bellicose, demon-killing goddesses combined into the concept of a single ‘Warrior Goddess’. This concept evolved between the fourth and eighth centuries AD and subsequently settled into a ‘Supreme Goddess’, who is regarded as the personification of the ultimate foundation of the universe, the ‘force’ with which the universe is permeated. Since the early Middle Ages the Warrior Goddess has thus had a prominent status and great popularity among the most important movements of Hinduism. In this process, in which local or tribal goddesses evolved into the Warrior Goddess, two demon-killing goddesses played an important role: Mahisasuramardini, ‘the goddess who slays the buffalo demon’, and Vindhyavasini, ‘the goddess who has an abode in the Vindhya mountains’. This process was investigated in detail by PhD student Yuko Yokochi. She studied the Skandapurana, a recently discovered work written in Sanskrit, and conducted archaeological fieldwork in the Vindhya mountains.

Yuko Yokochi (Ise, Japan, 1959) studied arts at Kyoto University in Japan and conducted her PhD research at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen. Yokochi is associate professor of Arts at Kyoto University.

Date and time

Monday 10 January 2005, 1.15 p.m.

PhD student

Y. Yokochi

PhD thesis

The rise of the warrior goddess in ancient India. A study of the myth of Kausiki-Vindhyavasini in the Skandapurana


Prof. H.T. Bakker and Prof. H. Isaacson

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