All her books since have been anchored in the distinction between Dominator relationships and Partnership relationships, which provides a lens for viewing and understanding societies, intimate relationships within families, religions relations between humans and the divine , and the relationship between humanity and the earth. Before turning to that idea, let me explain the title of Eisler's book, The Chalice and the Blade , which I borrowed as the title of this talk. Every Unitarian Universalist knows what a chalice is, and if you go to the Unitarian Universalist Association website you'll find an explanation of how this symbol became associated with our denomination. However, in choosing the chalice as a key word in the title of her book, Eisler probably did not have UUism in mind. For Eisler the chalice is associated with the goddess religions that existed in many places in the millennia leading up to about BCE.
|Published (Last):||5 September 2012|
|PDF File Size:||13.39 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||1.49 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The legacy of the sacred feminine.
The Chalice and the Blade tells a new story of our cultural origins. It shows that warfare and the war of the sexes are neither divinely nor biologically ordained. It provides verification that a better future is possible—and is in fact firmly rooted in the haunting dramas of what happened in our past. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published September 21st by HarperOne first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Chalice and the Blade , please sign up. Does this include info on the Inquistition? George The book barely mentions the Inquisition a few times, assuming knowledge of it. See 2 questions about The Chalice and the Blade…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Apr 03, Meg rated it liked it Shelves: history , non-fiction , cultural-studies-and-anthropology , religion , gender.
Three stars because it was a pretty interesting read, and she covers, well, all of human history. I read it because I know a number of people who claim this book fundamentally shaped their worldview and a number of others who don't make that claim, but are certainly influenced by the popularity of Eisler's ideas. The first half is in large part a summary and popularizing of the work of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, who argues that before the spread of Indo-European civilization there existed a Three stars because it was a pretty interesting read, and she covers, well, all of human history.
The first half is in large part a summary and popularizing of the work of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, who argues that before the spread of Indo-European civilization there existed a matrifocal [NOT matriarchal:], peaceful, egalitarian society, that practiced a predominately female-oriented polytheism that also involved a single Goddess figure.
Gimbutas is a highly controversial figure in archaeology, and I tried to wade a bit into the debate around her by reading a number of articles, to better weigh Eisler's argument. My conclusion: there are a couple strong points to the idea of a more egalitarian Neolithic society that had possible elements of a religion involving numerous goddesses. Anything after that, we can't really say for sure. Gimbutas, and by extension Eisler, with all her claims after those, moves onto increasingly shakier ground.
Eisler sees the main theme throughout history as "the struggle between so-called feminine and masculine values" That "so-called" is oddly placed, because it's clear that Eisler sees women as the bearers of the peaceful virtues; men are "regressive and violent" unless they submit to a feminine value system.
Which made me realize why I also have trouble believing her claims about a women-oriented peaceful society. I think that true egalitarianism is more likely to be achieved by making our concepts of sex and gender less rigid, more fluid, and more varied, rather than dividing humanity into two halves and constantly trying to either make both halves stay on the correct side, or to persuade one half that they're not good enough because they're not like the other.
View 1 comment. Even though some details seem a bit questionable possibly!? Apr 29, Wendy Babiak rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-that-made-me-a-better-person. Loved this book.
Helps clarify how we got where we are, and where we can go if we want to. Those who brush this off as feminazi aren't reading well.
She reiterates many times that there are gentle men and less-than-gentle women. Nor does she say that the Neolithic matrifocal societies were uptopias with no problems, just that they focused on nurturing rather than destruction.
Her ideas about a gylanic society based on linking rather than ranking are excellent and should be pursued. May 07, Nebuchadnezzar rated it did not like it Shelves: archaeology , anthropology-and-ethnography , religion-and-atheism , history , gender-and-sexuality , hack-jobs-and-bullshit.
Not in a million years should The Chalice and the Blade be considered a work of feminism or competent scholarship in general. Indeed, it is, in fact, widely rejected by even feminist archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians. Many of Eisler's arguments are recycled from the later work of Marija Gimbutas , who claimed that Paleolithic and Neolithic "Venus" statuettes and figurines were representations of a "Mother Goddess. There is no Not in a million years should The Chalice and the Blade be considered a work of feminism or competent scholarship in general.
There is no consensus as to what the figures represented, but the claims reiterated by Eisler are just about the least likely explanation. It would require a near-monolithic religion to be present over tens of thousands of years, multiple continents, and through the agricultural revolution. This is more than an extreme stretch, especially if you're talking about Paleolithic hunter-gatherers and early Neolithic peoples.
Furthermore, many of the figurines are of indeterminate gender. Even worse, many of the "Snake Goddess" statues and other artifacts from Crete were either forgeries or tampered with during restoration.
Shoddy scholarship such as this works to undermine legitimate revisionism, which may then be more easily written off as New Age crackpottery. It has certainly provided many anti-feminist writers with an easy straw woman to knock down. View 2 comments. Jul 28, Steve Cran rated it it was amazing. During the Neolithic times our world was a much different place.
The evidence is present not only in our technology but also of the presence of certain statues all over Europe. They are called Venus statues. They were misjudged at first and archaeologists thought they were used for lustful purposes.
Well they were wrong the statues were used to worship the Goddess. The Goddess was seen as the creator of all, the giver of birth. There was a male consort who co -ruled with her. In those times heri During the Neolithic times our world was a much different place. In those times heritability was passed matrilineally going down mother through daughter.
In those days men and women shared power and responsibility. Life was based on agriculture and fighters were not admired. Everyone had what they needed and there was no gap between rich and poor like there is today. This was the time of the chalice. When the Earth was bountiful. But something happened to change all that and people began to fight one another.
It was a time of the blade. Crete which was the seat of Minoan civilization. Was Goddess centered. Greek philosopher called these people divine. They had fertile land their art was pleasing to the eye. Violent kings were not worshiped. There were no weapon or art scenes glorifying violence. There was a queen running the civilization as evidenced by their elaborate tombs.
The form of governments was called Gilany. Which meant partnership between man and women. This would change with the coming off the Acheans who stormed their island and took it over.
It is believed that most of the men were killed and the women were kept on as slaves and wives. The Acheans were of Indo European stock who worshiped a warlike male god. Originally they were nomads who had no agricultural skills to speak of.
The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
The Chalice and the Blade
Eisler was honored as the only woman among twenty great thinkers including Vico, Hegel, Spengler, Adam Smith, Marx, and Toynbee featured in Macrohistory and Macrohistorians, in recognition of the lasting importance of her work. Donate to CPS. Your Name required. Your Email required. Your Message. Quotes div.
The Chalice & the Blade: Highlights of International Impact
The Chalice and the Blade tells a new story of our cultural origins. And it provides verification that a better future is possible — and is in fact firmly rooted in the haunting drama of what actually happened in our past. Now in its 57th printing with a new Epilogue by Riane Eisler. The most important book since the Origin of the Species. Some books are like revelations, they open the spirit to unimaginable possibilities.
The Chalice & the Blade: OUR HISTORY, OUR FUTURE by Riane Eisler (Harper & Row: $16.95; 261 pp.)
The author presents a conceptual framework for studying social systems with particular attention to how a society constructs roles and relations between the female and male halves of humanity. Eisler highlights the tension between what she calls the dominator or domination model and the more naturally feminine partnership model. Eisler proposes tension between these two underlies the span of human cultural evolution. She traces this tension in Western culture from prehistory to the present. The book closes with two contrasting future scenarios. These challenge conventional views about cultural evolution up to the time of the book's publication.