Charlene Spretnak, Professor Emerita of Women's Spirituality online MA and PhD at CIIS Charlene Spretnak

Professor Emerita
Women's Spirituality
Philosophy and Religion Department
School of Consciousness and Transformation

MA, University of California, Berkeley

BA, St. Louis University

Charlene Spretnak is one of the founding mothers of the Women’s Spirituality movement. In her first book, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths (1978), she reconstructed the pre-Olympian myths for the first time in more than 2,500 years. In 1982, she proposed a framework with which to understand the emergent Women’s Spirituality movement: an anthology she edited titled The Politics of Women’s Spirituality, arranged in three sections: recovering the history of women’s spirituality, personal spiritual growth, and political activism informed by spiritual practice. For the 1994 edition, Doubleday invited her to add an essay on the first twenty years of the Women’s Spirituality movement. In 1991, she wrote States of Grace: The Recovery of Meaning in the Postmodern Age (1991), which considered prehistorical and historical Goddess spirituality and its contemporary rebirth along side three other of the great spiritual traditions, proposing the relevance to each to solving the crises of modernity. Charlene Spretnak also delivered the keynote address at the first international conference on ecofeminism: “Ecofeminism: Our Roots and Flowering” at Ecofeminist Perspectives: Culture, Nature, Theory in 1987 at USC. She subsequently wrote many articles on ecofeminist thought, such as “Radical Nonduality in Ecofeminist Philosophy” (1998). She also wrote Missing Mary: The Queen of Heaven and Her Re-Emergence in the Modern Church (2004). In 2012 she received the Demeter Award for lifetime achievement as "one of the premier visionary feminist thinkers of our time" from the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology. Professor Spretnak was part of the original planning group that founded the WSE Program at CIIS in 1992, and she taught courses in the program for 20 years. In 2005 she and Professor Mara Keller designed and initiated the online version of degree offerings within the WSE Program. She retired in 2012.

Visit Charlene Spretnak's website.


Selected articles

Conference Presentations

Stay Connected to CIIS