Academic journal article Theological Studies

Dorothee Soelle-Mystic and Rebel: The Biography

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Dorothee Soelle-Mystic and Rebel: The Biography

Article excerpt

DOROTHEE SOELLE--MYSTIC AND REBEL: THE BIOGRAPHY. By Renate Wind. Translated from German and edited by Nancy Lukens and Martin Rumscheidt. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012. Pp. xvii + 203. $25.

Such luminaries of political and liberation theology as Johannes Baptist Metz, Edward Schillebeeckx, and Gustavo Gutierrez argued that an adequate theology must approach Christian faith as a praxis of mysticism and politics (or ethics). Their Protestant contemporary Dorothee Soelle, as the title of Wind's biography aptly indicates, was the very embodiment of such praxis. Soelle's theological writings pulse with the restless .passion of her prayer life and wide-ranging political activism. W. poignantly portrays Soelle's agitation with her native post-war-then-cold-war Germany, the Christian churches, capitalist market-driven society, and US domestic and foreign policy as a constant homelessness, ever bringing the cry of the poor, including her own cry, to God.

Soelle longed for home, for the sense of Heimat that alternately eluded or was denied her by academy, church, and country. From the start, the German church and academy scorned the young woman's refusal to submit to their elitist mores, as well as her narrative-and-literary-based theological method, with its pathos-laden insistence on a mutual deep need for love and deliverance on the part of both humanity and God. …

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