Gertrude “Trudy” Bush, CC contributing editor, dies at age 77

December 28, 2016

Gertrude “Trudy” Bush, a contributing editor of the Christian Century, died December 13 at age 77 in Upper Arlington, Ohio.

Bush spent 13 years on staff at the Christian Century and continued to write for the magazine after her retirement in 2004.

She was a refugee from Yugoslavia at the end of World War II, and her family lived in several refugee camps before coming to the United States.

She earned a doctorate in English literature and taught English in Algeria along with her husband as United Methodist missionaries. The time spent living in North Africa led to a passion for Muslim-Christian dialogue that continued throughout her life. She was also an activist for justice for Palestinians.

In a 2007 article on Muslim women in the United States, Bush wrote: “The stereotyping of Muslim women has a long history in the West. In the past the image of the subjugated, ignorant Muslim woman was used as a pretext for colonial domination and for Christian missionary endeavors.”

Women’s liberation was also cited as a reason for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, with the hijab depicted as oppressive, she noted.

“For many young professional women, Islamic dress is also meant to signal an identity that faithfully adheres to Islam but has nothing to do with being subjugated,” she wrote. “Women are choosing to wear the headscarf even though they know it may make them the targets of hate crimes and the victims of discrimination in the workplace, just as Christian women in different times and places chose to wear crosses or fish symbols even if doing so subjected them to persecution.”