Riane Eisler, PhD, JD, is an eminent social systems scientist, cultural historian, and attorney best known as the author of The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future, which inspired a generation of women and men to envision a truly egalitarian society. Her newest book, Nurturing Our Humanity: How Domination and Partnership Shape Our Brains, Lives, and Future, co-authored with anthropologist Douglas Fry, brings those insights into the current day, showing how we can, together, construct a more equitable, sustainable, and less violent world based on partnership rather than domination.
Riane's pioneering work in human rights expanded the focus of international organizations to include the rights of women and children. Her research has impacted many fields, including history, sociology, and education. She is cofounder of the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence (SAIV) and president of the Center for Partnership Studies. She is also author of The Power of Partnership and Tomorrow’s Children; Sacred Pleasure, a daring reexamination of sexuality and spirituality; Women, Men, and the Global Quality of Life, which statistically documents the key role of the status of women in a nation’s general quality of life; and The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics, was hailed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as “a template for the better world we have been so urgently seeking,” and proposes a new approach to economics that gives visibility and value to the most essential human work: the work of caring for people and the planet.
Riane 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. She is also an international consultant to businesses and governments on the application of the partnership model introduced in her work.
She has received many honors, including the selection as the only woman among 20 great thinkers including Hegel, Adam Smith, Marx, and Toynbee 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 honorary PhD 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.