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Re-Examining Human Nature and Re-Creating Society

Portrait of Dr. Riane Eisler
Dr. Riane Eisler

Dr. Riane Eisler, social and systems scientist, attorney and author, will address the JMU community as part of the Madison Vision Series: Contemporary Issues in an Engaged Society.

Eisler will present "Re-Examining Human Nature and Re-Creating Society: Four Cornerstones for Transformation" March 25 at 4 p.m. in the Madison Union Ballroom. Admission is free and open to the public.

Born in Vienna, Eisler and her family fled from the Nazi regime to Cuba and later immigrated to the United States. Years later, she has pioneered work on human rights and cultural transformation; broken ground on research in history, economics, psychology, sociology, education and healthcare; and led movements for peace, sustainability and economic equity.

Threaded among her work is a deep attention to culture and human behavior. Her systemic approach to peacekeeping is one of building a culture of peace, a perspective that incorporates nonviolent parent-child and gender relations as foundations of peace education. Her integrated approach to human rights asserts that women's and children's rights are a part of human rights as a whole. Her research transcends binaries such as right versus left, religion versus secularism and capitalism versus communism. Eisler's "The Chalice and the Blade" has been hailed by anthropologist Ashley Montagu as "the most important book since Darwin's 'Origin of Species'" and emphasizes the work of caring for people and nature.

Eisler received degrees in sociology and law from the University of California, has 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.

Eisler's lecture is sponsored by the JMU Office of the President and JMU Outreach and Engagement's Madison Institutes and funded by donors to the Madison Forever Vision Fund.

The Madison Vision Series brings scholars, thinkers and leaders of all kinds to campus for lively explorations of issues facing our contemporary society. As Madison steadfastly believed, cultivating an informed and engaged citizenry is essential to the health of our republican democracy. The Madison Vision Series aims to do just that, as prominent speakers look at our current civic landscape through the prism of creating an engaged and enlightened citizenry. The series reflects upon the continuing relevance of the thoughts and beliefs of our Founding Fathers, particularly James Madison himself.

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March 18, 2015

By Rosemary Girard (’15)

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