[South India] Possessed by Mary: Hinduism, Catholicism, & Spirit Possession

Please join us for a presentation by prof. Kristin Bloomer on spirit possession in South India for the Hindu Studies Colloquium. Optional Indian dinner at Maharaja (57 Jfk St  Cambridge, MA 02138, Tel (617)[masked]) afterwards. Her presentation with slides is free to attend but please bring cash for Indian dinner.

"In the context of a larger pattern of Marian devotion in contemporary Tamil Nadu,  devotion to Mary appears to be on the rise among Catholics and Hindus alike. Kristin have focused on the stories of two women in the city of Chennai - Rosalind, a single mother, and Nancy, a young unmarried woman who started to become possessed by Mary about a month after meeting Rosalind. Because they and other people in the region who claim possession by Mary define themselves as Roman Catholic, Kristin set her talk within the historical context of Roman Catholicism in Tamil Nadu. She is referring to local Hindu and indigenous discourses and practices regarding deities, spirits, and the interaction between this spirit world and that of human persons."

Thu., Feb. 21, 2013, 5:15 – 6:45 p.m

How to get to the Center:


Walking: From Harvard Square T -  Entering the yard, follow the paved footpaths to exit on the north side. Once outside the Harvard Yard gates, cross between the Science Center and Memorial Hall (a tall, elaborate red brick building on your right) through the construction site. Turn right, following Kirkland Avenue for two blocks. Turn left onto Francis Avenue. The CSWR is located at 42 Francis Avenue.

Harvard T -> cross the yard to Science Center -> pass the construction site -> right on Kirkland Ave -> pass Swendenborg Church on your right ->second left to Francis Ave. towards Divinity school -> CSWR on your right at 42 Francis across Divinity school.

CSWR is wheelchair accessible.

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  • David B.


    This otherwise would have been of interest to me - learning something probably new. Its an interesting philosophy 'issue' - I would have had some questions to ask just to see what kind of response I received.

    I'm Catholic, so I do have a particular perspective different than the event focus - similar to my thoughts on Gore.

    February 25, 2013

  • Katy


    February 22, 2013

  • Mariko

    The talk was informative but perhaps Maharaja was even better for some of us. Spirit possession is always interesting to me.

    February 21, 2013

  • Jane H.

    Dinner afterward was everything I've been looking for in a meetup - good conversation with interesting people who all contributed, laughter, beautiful restaurant atmosphere, and good food.

    February 21, 2013

  • Hsiu C.

    sorry, stuck at work, won't make it

    February 21, 2013

  • Beverly

    Stuck at work:( Darn..

    February 21, 2013

  • Mariko

    Harvard Sq T Redline is the nearest one. If you know the way, it would take about a 8 min walk from there, otherwise about 10-15 min. If you arrive late (I think the actual talk starts around 5:25 pm) just walk in and sit anywhere you can find. Nobody objects late comers. The common room has 50 seats capacity. + some refreshments. The key to find the place is "Harvard Divinity School" See you there, if you still try.

    February 21, 2013

  • David B.

    My RSVP was a mistake - There is no Subway stop nearby. Somehow, I overlooked that fact. I'll just go to the Friday meetup.

    February 21, 2013

  • Mariko

    OK I will book a table for Maharaja since we had dinner in Tanjore last month. Maharaja is slightly more fancy side (definitely in richer deco and a good view of JFK st from 2F restaurant.) from around 7 pm. It is optional. The talk actually starts 5:15pm so try not to be late. I will sit near the entrance with a meetup sign. The center is about a 12 min walk from Harvard Sq T, right in front of Harvard Divinity School. please check in Google, if you are not sure. The entrance of the Center is a wooden garden door (I will ask the center to put some sign there since it is not so clear) You may find street parking in around Beacon St. (Somerville) or Museum st (Cambridge) See you all there.

    February 20, 2013

  • Michelle

    I wish I could make this-it sounds fascinating!

    February 11, 2013


    I tried Maharaja restaurant at Harvard Square and I liked it. I would suggest that :-)

    February 7, 2013

  • Katy

    Sounds really interesting.

    February 7, 2013

  • Carmen

    This sounds fantastic but I'll be out of town. Darn!

    February 7, 2013

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