Feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether dies at 85

Scholar and theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether died on May 21 following a long illness. She was 85. Ruether, a Catholic, is widely considered to be one of the founding mothers of Christian feminist theology.

In a statement announcing Ruether’s death, Mary Hunt, codirector of the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual, said Ruether’s legacy was “rich beyond imagining,” noting her work in helping to develop ecofeminist and liberation theologies, her antiracism work, and her concern for peace in the Middle East.

Ruether’s teaching career spanned five decades, beginning in 1965 at historically Black Howard University—she later credited the Black Power movement with developing some of her thinking—and ending with her 2002 retirement from Garrett-Evangelical Theo­logical Seminary.