R.I.P. Letty M. Russell (1929-2007): Pioneer Feminist Theologian
I didn’t find out until today that the great feminist theologian Letty Russell died on 12 July 2007. There is an excellent obituary here. I met Russell a few times at conferences, but I mostly encountered her through her many books. She was the first feminist theologian I read who seemed to take Scripture and the historic Christian faith seriously, as opposed to the “post-Christian” Mary Daly or the highly revisionist Rosemary Radford Reuther. (I knew of evangelical feminist theologians, of course, but they seemed mostly concerned with repeated defenses of the biblical basis for the ordination of women. My teachers, Molly T. Marshall and Pamela J. Scalise, had not yet published much. So, Russell was the first mainstream feminist theologian I encountered positively through her writings.) She was a critic and reformer, but clearly a believer who did NOT want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. She was an incredible encouragement to younger women entering ministry, too. I found her major work on ecclesiology, Church in the Round, to be very close to the Anabaptist-Free Church vision, though she was an ordained Presbyterian.
Another obituary can be found here.
Well done, good and faithful servant of the One Servant. May God raise up more like you.
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