The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image

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Penguin, Sep 1, 1999 - Social Science - 496 pages
2 Reviews
This groundbreaking book proposes that the rise of alphabetic literacy reconfigured the human brain and brought about profound changes in history, religion, and gender relations. Making remarkable connections across brain function, myth, and anthropology, Dr. Shlain shows why pre-literate cultures were principally informed by holistic, right-brain modes that venerated the Goddess, images, and feminine values. Writing drove cultures toward linear left-brain thinking and this shift upset the balance between men and women, initiating the decline of the feminine and ushering in patriarchal rule. Examining the cultures of the Israelites, Greeks, Christians, and Muslims, Shlain reinterprets ancient myths and parables in light of his theory. Provocative and inspiring, this book is a paradigm-shattering work that will transform your view of history and the mind.
 

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The alphabet versus the goddess: the conflict between word and image

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The advantages of a literate society are self-evident, but is there a dark side to language? In this extraordinary book, Shlain, a surgeon and the author of Art and Physics (LJ 9/1/91), argues that ... Read full review

Review: The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image

User Review  - Shelly - The Illustrated Librarian - - Goodreads

There should be an added category on the Goodreads shelves. In addition to read, currently-reading or to-read, I would like quit-reading. I can't get through this book. It seems fascinating, the ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
PROTESTANTCATHOLIC
FAITHHATE
SORCERYSCIENCE
POSITIVENEGATIVE 16481899
PAGESCREEN 19452000
Epilogue
DEATHFEMALES LIFE
CADMUSALPHA 14 SAPPHOGANYMEDE 15 DIONYSUSAPOLLO
ATHENSSPARTA 17 LINGAMYONI
BIRTHDEATH
YINYANG 20 TAOISMCONFUCIANISM 21 B C A D
JESUSCHRIST 23 DEATHREBIRTH 24 PATRIARCHSHERETICS
REASONMADNESS 26 ILLITERACYCELIBACY 5001000
MUSLIN VEILSMUSLIM WORDS 28 MYSTICSCHOLASTIC 10001300
HUMANISTEGOIST 13001500

NONVERBALVERBAL 6 CUNEIFORMMARDUK 7 HIEROGLYPHSISIS
ALEPHBET 9 HEBREWSISRAELITES 10 ABRAHAMMOSES 11 THERAMATZAH 12 ADAMEVE

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About the author (1999)

Leonard Shlain is the author of Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time & Light, and The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image. He is the chief of laparoscopic surgery at California Medical Center in San Francisco.

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