The Alphabet Versus the Goddess

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess

The Conflict Between Word and Image

Written by:

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140196016
  • 496 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


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.
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess

Written by: Leonard Shlain

Table of Contents

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess Preface
1. Image/Word
2. Hunters/Gatherers
3. Right Brain/Left Brain
4. Males: Death/Females: Life
5. Nonverbal/Verbal
6. Cuneiform/Marduk
7. Hieroglyphs/Isis
8. Aleph/Bet
9. Hebrews/Israelites
10. Abraham/Moses
11. Thera/Matzah
12. Adam/Eve
13. Cadmus/Alpha
14. Sappho/Ganymede
15. Dionysus/Apollo
16. Athens/Sparta
17. Lingam/Yoni
18. Birth/Death
19. Yin/Yang
20. Taoism/Confucianism
21. B.C./A.D.
22. Jesus/Christ
23. Death/Rebirth
24. Patriarchs/Heretics
25. Reason/Madness
26. Illiteracy/Celibacy, 500-1000
27. Muslin Veils/Muslim Words
28. Mystic/Scholastic, 1000-1300
29. Humanist/Egoist, 1300-1500
30. Protestant/Catholic
31. Faith/Hate
32. Sorcery/Science
33. Positive/Negative, 1648-1899
34. Id/Superego, 1900-1945
35. Page/Screen, 1945-2000