Śākta Traditions Lecture Series: Śāktism among the Śaivas
Prof. Alexis Sanderson
21 & 28 October 2020, 2.00-3.00
In the first of these three lectures Professor Sanderson covers the history of Śaivism, setting out his view of its principal divisions, their historical development, and their interaction, and locating on this map the entry point of an influx of Śākta Śaiva forms of ecstatic religion into what had previously been a cluster of austere, highly ascetic traditions. In the second he narrows his focus to examine the history of Śaivism in Kashmir, concentrating on the nature of its Śākta Śaiva elements, notably the traditions of the Trika and Krama, but stressing the importance of seeing how these were embedded within, and interacted with, more exoteric forms of the religion. In the third lecture, he presents evidence that these Śākta Śaiva traditions developed and flourished outside Kashmir in most regions of the subcontinent and that though much of their later highbrow literature was modelled on the learned exegesis of Abhinavagupta and Ksemarāja there are reasons to conclude that they had pre-Kashmirian histories.