Academic journal article et Cetera

The Alphabet versus the Goddess: The Conflict between Word and Image

Academic journal article et Cetera

The Alphabet versus the Goddess: The Conflict between Word and Image

Article excerpt

Leonard Shlain. The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image. New York: Penguin Arkana, 1999.

Leonard Shlain, a chief of laparoscopic surgery at a California medical center and a prolific writer, makes the claim that the advent of alphabetic literacy - the process of reading and writing - ushered in the demise of ancient goddess societies and shifted the balance of power from women with their intuitive and holistic right-brain orientation to the more concrete, linear-focused, leftbrain men.

Shlain contends that agricultural preliterate cultures were principally informed by holistic, right-brained modes of thinking that venerated the Goddess and feminine values and images. Writing, that specifically used alphabets, drove cultures toward linear leftbrain thinking. This shift shook up the balance between men and women, precipitating the decline of the feminine and the rise of patriarchy and misogyny.

To back up his argument, Shlain examines the cultures of the ancient Israelites and Greeks, Christians, and Muslims and reinterprets many of their myths and parables in light of his theory. …

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