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Adjunct Assistant Professor
Women's Spirituality Program
Philosophy and Religion Department
School of Consciousness and Transformation
JD, University of California, Los Angeles
Riane Eisler, JD is a social scientist, attorney, and author whose work on cultural transformation has inspired both scholars and social activists. Her research has impacted many fields, including history, economics, psychology, sociology, and education. She has been a leader in the movement for peace, sustainability, and economic equity, and her pioneering work in human rights has expanded the focus of international organizations to include the rights of women and children. She is president of the Center for Partnership Studies, dedicated to research and education and co-founder of the Caring Economy Campaign, and, with Nobel Peace laureate Betty Williams, of the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence.
Dr. Eisler keynotes conferences and speaks at universities worldwide, and consults to business and government on applications of the partnership model introduced in her work. She has spoken at the United Nations General Assembly, and other venues have included Germany at the invitation of Prof. Rita Suessmuth, President of the Bundestag (the German Parliament) and Daniel Goeudevert (Chair of Volkswagen International); Colombia, invited by the Mayor of Bogota; and the Czech Republic, invited by Vaclav Havel (President of the Czech Republic).
She is a member of the Club of Rome, a Councilor of the World Future Council, a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and World Business Academy,and a commissioner of the World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality, along with the Dalai Lama and other spiritual leaders.
Riane Eisler was born in Vienna, fled from the Nazis with her parents to Cuba, and later emigrated to the United States. She obtained degrees in sociology and law from the University of California, taught pioneering classes on women and the law at UCLA, and now teaches in the graduate Transformative Leadership Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Dr. Eisler is the only woman among 20 great thinkers including Hegel, Adam Smith, Marx, and Toynbee selected for inclusion in Macrohistory and Macrohistorians in recognition of the lasting importance of her work as a cultural historian and evolutionary theorist. She has received many honors, including honorary Ph.D. degrees, the Alice Paul ERA Education Award, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's 2009 Distinguished Peace Leadership Award, and is included in the award-winning book Great Peacemakers as one of 20 leaders for world peace, along with Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King.
Dr. Eisler is internationally known for her bestseller The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future. Her newest book, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics - proposes a new economics that gives visibility and value to the most essential human work: the work of caring for people and nature.
Other books drawing from her multidisciplinary research include the award-winning The Power of Partnership and Tomorrow's Children, as well as Sacred Pleasure, a daring reexamination of sexuality and spirituality, and Women, Men, and the Global Quality of Life, documenting the key role of women's status in a nation's general quality of life.
Her earlier books, drawing from her legal experience, include Dissolution and The Equal Rights Handbook, widely used in the campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Eisler has written over 300 articles in publications ranging from Behavioral Science, Futures, Political Psychology, The Christian Science Monitor, Challenge, and The UNESCO Courier to Brain and Mind, the Human Rights Quarterly, The International Journal of Women's Studies, and the World Encyclopedia of Peace.
Riane Eisler: Recreating Our Past, Recreating Our Future - Thinking Allowed (excerpt)
At the dawn of modern civilization, says Riane Eisler, humanity shifted from a partnership model of social interaction to a dominator model. In a partnership model men and women treat each other as equals. Ms. Eisler details the archeological findings suggesting that neolithic and Cretan societies had a significantly different social organization from that of modern times. Fertility goddesses were the major objects of religious worship, suggesting a reverence for the creative principle of nature. Cities were unfortified and yet survived peaceably for thousands of years.
As the civilizations of the fertile crescent arose, warfare and male domination became established social institutions. Since that time they have been such an integral part of our culture that we rarely imagine things could be otherwise.
TEDxSantaCruz: Riane Eisler - Building A Caring Economy