In Conversation with Riane Eisler

Cultural historian and evolutionary theorist Riane Eisler talks to Le Simplegadi about
her vision of new human possibilities and her belief in humanity’s capacity for
caring and mutuality as an alternative to the violence and domination of much of
recorded history. In her ground-breaking works, The Chalice and the Blade (1987)
and Sacred Pleasure (1995), both published in more than 20 languages including
the recent Italian re-editions by Udine University Press Forum, she gives evidence of
“another history”, that of the Neolithic before the violent invasions of pastoralist
nomads, in which an equalitarian mode of living was far more central than the
patriarchal dominator configuration. This resulted, as Eisler describes, in relations of
“linking” rather than rigid “ranking”, and what she calls “hierarchies of
actualisation” rather than hierarchies of domination. This work provides a new
radical perspective on the ways human relationships and institutions were
structured and how they can be again structured, ranging from culture,
education, and economics to spirituality, sexuality, and family and other intimate

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