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The Chalice and the Blade.

Joseph Martos is a professor at Spalding University, Louisville, Ky.

The books I read for mental stimulation are usually not au courant because I like to wait until the initial hoopla has subsided before I make my choices. This past year, I read a number of books I think will stand the test of time. Here are two of them.

The Chalice and the Blade, by Riane Eisler (Harper San Francisco, 1988), gathers evidence for the existence of a peace-loving, highly developed culture in the Mediterranean area prior to what we normally think of as the "dawn" of Western civilization. Archaeologist Marija Gimbutas and others believe that this egalitarian "civilization of the goddess" was obliterated by the Indo-European invaders who established a domineering, violence-prone society whose gods are exclusively male.

Their thesis suggests that patriarchy is not rooted in human nature or culture and that the hope for a more egalitarian future has precedents in history as well as in the imagination.
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Author:Martos, Joseph
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 19, 1993
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