Charlene Spretnak is the author of nine books on cultural history, social criticism (including feminism and Green politics), and religion and spirituality. Since the mid-1980s, her books have examined the multiple crises of modernity and their root causes and have contributed to corrective efforts that are arising. An example is the eco-social vision presented in The Resurgence of the Real (1997). Her book Green Politics 1984) was a major catalyst for the formation of the U.S. Green Party movement, of which she is a cofounder. Her books Lost Goddesses of Early Greece (1978) and the anthology The Politics of Women's Spirituality (1982) were early, formative works in the Women's Spirituality movement. Her book Relational Reality (2011) examines the societal implications of the many recent discoveries in human physiology that reveal that human structure and functioning is much more dynamically interrelated with nature and other people than was imagined in the mechanistic worldview of modernity.
The Spiritual Dynamic in Modern Art: Art History Reconsidered, 1800 to the Present (Palgrave Macmillan)
The history of modern art has generally been understood as a grand leap away from tradition, religion, and conventional norms, yielding decidedly secular art. Yet a majority of the prominent modern artists in every period had strong interests in the spiritual dimension of life, which they expressed in the new art forms they created. The Spiritual Dynamic in Modern Art draws on direct statements by scores of leading artists—cited from little known historical documentation as well as contemporary interviews—to demonstrate that spirituality, far from being inconsequential in the terrain of modern art, is generative. This magisterial overview insightfully presents, for the first time, a chronological survey of the major art movements that weaves together spiritual profiles of numerous leading artists and situates their stories within the cultural context of each period. The result is a significantly expanded understanding of the cultural history of modern art.
Awards and Recognition
- 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.
- In 2006 Charlene Spretnak was named by the British government's Environment Department as one of the "100 Eco-Heroes of All Time."