Remarks from Elizabeth E. Green, Italy,
Rosemary Radford Ruether is one of the few North American theologians some of whose work has been made available to the Italian public. Her 1972 work, Liberation Theology (Human Hope Confronts Christian History and American Power), was possibly one of the first works of feminist theology to be published in Italy under the title For a Theology of the Liberation of Woman, Body and Nature. Later (1995), Gaia and God was translated into Italian as has been her well known essay “Can a Male Savior Save Women?” (in a collection edited by Mary Hunt and Rosino Gibellini, 1980).
Rosemary (whom I only met on one fleeting occasion), has been – through her books and articles – a constant source of inspiration for me. I have often used her analysis of “distorted dualisms” in my own writing and teaching. Her use of Simone de Beauvoir has made her concepts translatable into Italian feminist theory which, at one time, was highly indebted to the thought of Luce Irigaray. I understand Rosemary to have been an intersectional feminist before the term was coined and her work has enabled us to hold together different forms of exclusion and (what we once called) oppression. I am thinking not only of her work on women and nature but also on sexuality and the family, globalization, and the divine feminine (in Goddesses). While some of her writing has been mainly focused on the North American context, the topics I have mentioned and more, continue to be relevant to our world and to theological reflection here in Italy.
I am pleased to remember and honour Rosemary as One who has gone before, opening up paths of theological reflection for women and men yet to be fully explored.
Elizabeth Green is a Baptist minister in Italy. She is feminist theologian, a member of the Italian Association on Women Theologians. She is the former vice president of the European Association of Women Theologians. She has written on Rosemary Radford Ruether including the Introduction to the Italian version of Gaia and God.