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Matriarchal Societies


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About the Author

Heide Goettner-Abendroth is a German philosopher and researcher of culture and society who is focused on matriarchal studies. She taught at the University of Munich and was visiting professor at the University of Montreal, Canada and the University of Innsbruck, Austria. She organized and guided two World Congresses on Matriarchal Studies in 2003 and 2005. She was nominated as one of the "1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize" in 2005.


"For decades, Heide Goettner-Abendroth has been a serious scholar of the deep history and ongoing traditions of matriarchy in Europe. Her extensive research has taken her through strong historical matriarchies on several continents, drawing together the research of the most modern international scholars on matriarchy. Her book now brings to undeniable light the matriarchal alternatives available to humanity. Goettner-Abendroth should be on the reading list of every women's studies program." (Barbara Alice Mann, Ohio Bear Clan Seneca, Assistant Professor in the Honors College of the University of Toledo, and Co-Director of the Native American Alliance of Ohio) "If in the millennium of women, future generations look back to find the origin of their peaceful societies, they will find that the work of Heide Goettner-Abendroth opened the way. Modern matriarchal studies break through patriarchal capitalist ideology and provide the new/old models for viable ways of life of which our present globalizing market is only a destructive aberration." (Genevieve Vaughan, Author of For-Giving: A Feminist Criticism of Exchange and Women and the Gift Economy: A Radically Different Worldview Is Possible, and Founder of International Feminists for a Gift Economy) "With the publication of this important book, Heide Goettner-Abendroth's brilliant critical conceptualization of the deep structures shared by matriarchal societies around the world becomes fully available in English. Her theory has developed, not abstractly but inductively, from the analytical investigation of numerous societies by non-indigenous and indigenous researchers. It provides the basis for a full-fledged interdisciplinary and cross-cultural field of matriarchal studies where previously only isolated studies were possible. Matriarchal studies is a deeply political and liberatory field grounded in an understanding that the destructive patriarchal power structures pervasive today are a historically recent development. Scholars of matriarchy, some of whom are members of matriarchal societies, are uncovering and reclaiming cultures created mainly by women. Their research offers support for indigenous peoples' struggles on every continent for land and cultural rights and brings hope to us all that we can build a better world." (Angela Miles, Professor of Adult Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, Canada) "Heide Goettner-Abendroth has devoted her life to the study of matriarchal societies and the development of modern matriarchal studies. Her monumental work is presented in this book. As a Western feminist and peace activist this knowledge has transformed almost every facet of my thinking, theorizing, and activism as well as my daily life. My work on, motherhood, sexuality, racism, and above all peace and peace building has been significantly altered by Goettner-Abendroth's scholarship. I believe her work offers Western feminists and other progressive scholars as well as social change activists a new, innovative vision of an alternative society - a society of peace and balance, insightful ways to heal the many harms Western civilization brought about, and groundbreaking passages of doing politics, peace building, and conflict resolution." (Erella Shadmi, Isha L'Isha feminist center, Israel, and former Head of Women's Studies Program, Beit Berl College, Israel) "In an ideal world this ground-breaking study would already be required reading in most disciplines from women's and native studies to anthropology and, most importantly, economics, political science, and religious studies. I predict, however, that in this era of urgent survival studies following the moral, financial, ecological, and climate crises, Heide Goettner-Abendroth's vital findings regarding past and present matriarchal gift economies and societies will finally be embraced. The English translation

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