Ecofeminist theologian Sallie McFague dies at 86

Theologian Sallie McFague died November 15 at the age of 86. McFague influenced a generation of feminist theo­logians with her work in ecofeminist theology. For 30 years she taught at Vanderbilt Divinity School.

McFague was an early adopter of feminine names for God. In one of her seminal books, Meta­phorical Theology (1982), she wrote: “metaphors of God, far from reducing God to what we understand, underscore by their multiplicity and lack of fit the unknowability of God. . . . This crucial characteristic of metaphorical language for God is lost, however, when only one important personal relationship, that of father and child, is allowed to serve as a grid for speaking of the God-human relationship.”

A panentheist, McFague made significant contributions to the field of ecotheology. In a 2008 interview with Fortress Press to promote her book A New Climate for Theo­logy, McFague described Western consum­er­ism as a sin—adding that this sin was to blame for several contemporary disasters.