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's website here.
- The Spiritual Dynamic in Modern Art: Art History Reconsidered, 1800 to the Present (2014)
- Relational Reality: New Discoveries of Interrelatedness That Are Transforming the Modern World (2011)
- Missing Mary: The Queen of Heaven and Her ReEmergence in the Modern Church (2004)
- The Resurgence of the Real: Body, Nature, and Place in a Hypermodern World (1997)
- States of Grace: The Recovery of Meaning the Postmodern Age (1991)
- The Spiritual Dimension of Green Politics (1986)
- Green Politics: The Global Promise (principle coauthor, 1984)
- The Politics of Women's Spirituality: Essays on the Rise of Spiritual Power within the Feminist Movement (editor, 1982)
- Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths (1978)
- "Mary and Modernity." In The Oxford Handbook of Mary. Oxford University Press, 2019.
- “A View from the Chute.” FeminismAndReligion.com, February 21, 2018.
- "In the Absence of a Mother Tongue." Spring: Journal Archetype and Culture: Women’s Voices (Fall 2014).
- "Anatomy of a Backlash: Concerning the Work of Marija Gimbutas." The Journal of Archaeomythology 7 (2011): 25-51.
- “Compromised Hierarchy Needs Relational Wisdom of Women.” National Catholic Reporter, May 28, 2010.
- “The Eco-Ontological Literary Imperative.” Indian Journal of Ecocriticism, vol. 1 (August 2008).
- “How Gore Lost the Green Vote.” San Francisco Chronicle, November 19, 2000.
- “Sacred Cosmos.” Resurgence, no. 201 (July/August 2000).
- “Radical Nonduality in Ecofeminist Philosophy.” In Ecofeminism: Women, Culture, Nature, edited by Karen J. Warren and Nisvan Erkal. Indiana University Press, 1997.
- “Embodied, Embedded Philosophy.” Open Eye (CIIS), vol. 12, no. 1 (June 1995).
- “A Living Memorial." In Thinking Green!: Essays on Environmentalism, Feminism, and Nonviolence by Petra K. Kelly. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1994.
- “Ecofeminism: Our Roots and Flowering.” In Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism, edited by Irene Diamond and Gloria Feman Orenstein. Sierra Club Books, 1990.
- “Modernity, Women, Art, and the Spiritual Dimension.” Panel presentation for the Women's Assembly at the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions, in Salt Lake City.
- “Dynamic Interrelatedness.” Presentation at Techno-Utopia and the Fate of the Earth conference at Cooper Union in New York on 25-26 October 2014, sponsored by the International Forum on Globalization.
- TEDx Talk by Charlene Spretnak on Relational Reality and the Relational Shift, 15 November 2013.
- “Women, Governance and the Relational Shift.” Talk given at the first Sister Giant conference, held in Los Angeles on 10 November 2012.