The Chalice and the Blade: Models of Partnership Between Women and Men
RIANE EISLER
MONDAY, JANUARY 22, 1990

Riane Eisler's multi-disciplinary book, The Chalice
and the Blade: Our History, Our Future
(1987), has been hailed as "the most
important work since Darwin's Origin of Species (1859)." The
book derives from a ten-year study of 25,000 years of
history. After reviewing the religion, art, history,
economics, anthropology, psychology, politics, and
archeology of Western civilization, Ms. Eisler concludes
that patriarchy and warfare are "a 5,000-year dominator
detour" from the peace and harmony with nature of the
previous 20,000 years.

The book also indicates that the war of the sexes has
relatively recent origins. The premise for this argument
is that men and women lived under more equitable
social structures in the time before recorded history,
when people worshipped a life-giving goddess of
nature. In such cultures women were respected as
mothers and priestesses, but did not oppress men.

The Chalice and the Blade is the basis for the Center of
Partnership Studies, which Ms. Eisler and her husband,
David Loye, founded last year. The center's goal is to
prove that the peaceful co-existence of 5,000 years ago is
an option for today. Ms. Eisler maintains that if we
managed to create an idyllic world once, we can do it
again. Satellite centers in Seattle, Chicago, Princeton,
San Francisco, Hawaii, and Santa Fe attest to the
growing impact of Ms. Eisler's philosophy, a philosophy that "validates a belief in humanity's capacity for
benevolence and cooperation."

If you would like to join Ms. Eisler for a 5:30 reception
and 6:00 dinner, please complete and return the
attached coupon to the Athenaeum. The lecture begins
at 7:00.