Charlene Spretnak is the 2012 winner of the Demeter Award for Leadership in Women’s Spirituality. Her presentation for the ASWM conference is entitled, Modernity, Mythology, and the Elusive Gestalt.
Ms. Spretnak’s work is internationally recognized in the areas of spirituality, cultural history, feminist and other social criticism, and ecological thought (Green politics, ecofeminism, ecophilosophy). In 2006 she was named one of “100 Eco-Heroes of All Time” by the publication of the British government’s Environmental Department.
She is one of the founding mothers of the Women’s Spirituality movement, through her work in the second half of the 1970s and the early 1980s. Her first book, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths reconstructed pre-Olympian myths for the first time in more than 2500 years; the Los Angeles Times called it “a poetic revelation.”
States of Grace: The Recovery of Meaning in the Postmodern Age is her exploration of four of the great spiritual traditions and their relevance to solving the crises of modernity. The traditions explored are Buddhism, Native American spiritualities, the contemporary rebirth of Goddess spirituality, and the Abrahamic cluster of religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).
In Missing Mary: The Queen of Heaven and Her Re-Emergence in the Modern Church (2004), Ms. Spretnak challenges the radical reduction of the status and meaning of the Virgin Mary in the “modernized” Roman Catholic Church over the past forty years, which has largely denied her symbolic, cosmological, and mystical dimensions.
Her most recent book, Relational Reality: New Discoveries of Interrelatedness That Are Transforming the Modern World (2011), focuses on the “Relational Shift” seen in the fields of Education and Parenting, Health and Healthcare, Community Design and Architecture, and the Economy.
She is currently working on a book on the spiritual dimensions of modern and contemporary art. She is professor emerita in the Women’s Spirituality program of the Philosophy and Religion department at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
For more information see her web site.