Dorothee Soelle - Mystic and Rebel: The Biography
Renate Wind has composed a well-researched and searching biography of Dorothee Soelle (1929–2003), who became a true religious provocateur and one of the most prolific and widely read theologians of the postwar period.
Born in Germany and educated at the University of Cologne, Soelle turned from literary studies to theology, concentrating on rethinking Christian convictions in light of World War II and the Holocaust. A poet and activist as well as theologian, after her arrival at Union Theological Seminary in 1974, where she assumed the post previously held by Paul Tillich, Soelle became a leading voice for the liberation of women and against militarism, especially the Vietnam War. Her person, work, travels, and the times themselves combined to make her a pioneer and leader in the most exciting developments of the period: political theology, feminist theology, and liberation theology. Among her influential works were Christ the Representative (1967), Suffering (1975), To Work and to Love (1984), Theology for Skeptics (1994), and The Silent Cry (2001).
Wind’s short and insightful biography is informed by extensive interviews with Soelle’s friends and family, especially her husband, Fulbert Steffensky, by use of the family’s archives, and by Wind’s extensive knowledge of contemporary theology, political history, and the contemporary church.
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