Rethinking Femininity and Transgression in Andal

How to Cite

Sushumna Kannan. (2022). Rethinking Femininity and Transgression in Andal: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 22(2), 151–170. Retrieved from


It is now well-known that the Bhakti ‘movement’ of medieval India was initially theorized by the 19th-century colonial missionaries and historians as being akin to the Protestant movement in Europe. Through this framework Bhakti was viewed as ethical, egalitarian, and monotheistic, among other things. Though this framework has been well-critiqued, it continues to be used in so far as scholars see Bhakti as at least egalitarian. So what should be the position of a non-orientalist appraisal of medieval Bhakti? To probe this question, this paper will study Andal, the only woman among the Alvar saints and examine her life and works.

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