Magazine article The Christian Century

Church 'Conscience' Dorothee Soelle Dies. (News)

Magazine article The Christian Century

Church 'Conscience' Dorothee Soelle Dies. (News)

Article excerpt

Dorothee Soelle, a German Protestant theologian who died on April 27 at the age of 73, was a controversial figure in her own church but attracted a large following by combining Christian mysticism and radical political commitment.

The author of 30 books, Soelle never held a full professorship at a German university. Some attributed that to her support of left-wing political causes, such as opposition to the Vietnam War. But from 1975 to 1987 she spent six months each year as professor of systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

"She was and remains the political conscience of Protestantism," said Maria Jepsen, the Lutheran bishop of Hamburg, where Soelle lived, reported the German Protestant news agency. A popular speaker in Europe, Soelle displayed radicalism and themes in her early works that prefigured later developments in feminist theology.

"She was genuinely and deeply rooted in the spiritual tradition of the Christian church and intensely engaged in the struggle for justice," said Konrad Raiser, general secretary of the World Council of Churches. Soelle developed a massive following during the post-World War II student revolt in West Germany. …

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