As many have already heard, Rosemary Radford Ruether, one of the leading, and one of the first, ecofeminist theologians passed away on May 21 at the age of 85. She was a dynamic force and an important voice for many decades. Her writing was prolific and groundbreaking. Volumes such as New Woman, New Earth: Sexist Ideologies and Human Liberation (Seabury, 1975), Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing (HarperOne 1994), Women Healing Earth: Third World Women on Ecology, Feminism, and Religion (Maryknoll 1996), and many more are foundational texts in our field and still transmit immense wisdom decades after their publication.
She gave one of the plenary addresses at the Forum’s 1998 Christianity and Ecology conference, and (with Dieter Hessel) edited the volume in the Harvard Series on World Religions and Ecology that came out of that event. She was part of the Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe conference in 2014, serving on the Ecofeminism panel.
Here are just a few of the obituaries and tributes that have appeared for her:
NPR, All Things Considered:
“Rosemary Radford Ruether, a founding mother of feminist theology, has died at age 85”
National Catholic Reporter:
“Rosemary Radford Ruether was a groundbreaking feminist theologian and global sister”
New York Times:
“Rosemary Radford Ruether, Feminist Theologian, Dies at 85”
Graduate Theological Union:
“Remembering Dr. Rosemary Radford Ruether”
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary:
“Remembering Dr. Rosemary Radford Ruether, Pioneering Feminist Theologian, Emerita Professor, and Tomato Grower”
The Forum sends our deepest condolences to her family and friends. Her legacy lives on and her words will continue to inspire us for generations to come.
See below for some multimedia of Rosemary, including an early interview from 1968.
Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr.
The Rib Uncaged: Women and the Church
Rosemary Radford Ruether, Mary Daly, Sidney Cornelia Callahan
June 24, 1968
Sharon Kugler, Mary Hunt, Chung Hyun Kyung, Rosemary Radford Ruether
“Ecofeminist Theology and the Challenge of Globalization”
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary