Rosemary Radford Ruether

Rosemary Radford Ruether

Rosemary Radford Ruether (born 1936) is a controversial feminist scholar and theologian, who is married to the political scientist Herman Ruether. They have three children and reside in California. []

Ruether was born in 1936 in Georgetown, Texas, to a Catholic mother and Episcopalian father. She has reportedly described her upbringing as free-thinking and humanistic as opposed to oppressive. [] Ruether's father died when she was 12 and afterwards Ruether and her mother moved to California.

Ruether holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Scripps College (1958), and M.A. in Ancient History (1960) and a Ph.D. in Classics and Patristics (1965) from Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California.

She currently is Visiting Professor of Feminist Theology at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University. She formerly was Carpenter Professor of Feminist Theology at the Pacific School of Religion and Graduate Theological Union, and also taught at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. [] . Ruether is the author of many books on feminism, the Bible and Christianity, including "Sexism and God-Talk", "In Our Own Voices: Four Centuries of American Women’s Religious Writing" (ed. with Rosemary Skinner Keller), and "The Wrath of Jonah: The Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict".

She has for thirty years been considered a pioneer in the area of feminist theology in North America, with a particular focus in modern feminist theology and liberation theology, especially in Palestine and Latin America. She has also been an outspoken critic of war since the Vietnam era and continues this work today.

The Catholic University of San Diego Department of Theology and Religious Studies published its choice to elect Professor Rosemary Radford Ruether, to the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology for the 2009-2010 academic year, circa April 2008. Ruether was expected to teach one undergraduate course and deliver the annual Portman Lecture as part of her honorary position. This decision was subsequently rescinded in July 2008 when some members of the campus community protested that her academic work was incompatible with the Catholic faith. Ruether describes herself as an "eco-feminist" and refers to God as the feminine "Gaia" (however, she noted in July 2008 that a critic "accused me of teaching that ‘God is Gaia,’ a view which I do not take"). [] Ruether is an advocate of women's ordination. She has questioned the legitimacy of Pope Benedict XVI's accession to the Holy See. Since 1985 Ruether has served as a board member for the pro-abortion rights group "Catholics for Choice" (CFC).

In 2005 Ruether explained to an audience at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles her view that "Christianity is riddled by hierarchy and patriarchy" that created a social order in which chaste women on their wedding night "were, in effect, raped by young husbands whose previous sexual experience came from exploitative relationships with servant women and prostitutes."

She is a signatory to the 9/11 Truth Statement. []

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