Thursday, May 28, 2009

What we're reading ...

... here at All Saints Church.

Riane Eisler was our Rector's Forum speaker earlier this month -- and her new book is "blurbed" thusly by Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

The Real Wealth of Nations gives us a template for the better world we have been so urgently seeking . . .this brilliant book shows how we can build economic systems that meet both our material and spiritual needs."

I'm not through it yet ... (it's been a trace busy around here, as you may have noticed!) ... but here are a couple of her thoughts about the Domination System vs. the Partnership System that emerged in a staff conversation earlier today that have so engaged my thinking about all KINDS of systems that I think they beg a wider audience:


In the domination system, there are only two alternatives for relations: dominating or being dominated. Those on top control those below them and policies and practices in this system are designed to benefit those on the top at the expense of those on the bottom. Trust is scarce and tension is high as the whole system is largely held together by fear and force.

The partnership system supports mutually respectful and caring relations. There are still hierarchies, as there must be to get things done. But in these hierarchies, which I call hierarchies of actualization rather than hierarchies of domination, accountability and respect flow both ways rather than just from the bottom up, and social and economic structures are set up so that there is input from all levels.

Policies and practices in this system are designed to support our basic survival needs AND our needs for community, creativity, meaning and caring – in other words, the realization or our highest human potentials.

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