Distinguished Theologian Sallie McFague Passes Away

Distinguished Theologian Sallie McFague Passes Away

Distinguished Theologian in Residence at the Vancouver School of Theology, Rev. Dr Sallie McFague passed away on 15 November.

Rev. Dr McFague was a leading American feminist theologian.

Her theological work in metaphorical theology were influential texts for feminist theology, especially in her 1982 book, Metaphorical Theology: Models of God in Religious Language. In more recent years, her research into ecotheology included Blessed Are The Consumers (2013) and A New Climate for Theology: God, the World, and Global Warming (2008).

Her best known work included her analysis of how metaphor lies at the heart of talk of God. One aspect of this was how Christians inherited metaphorical descriptions for God as father, lord, or king that were intended to provide a way of understanding God in their time, but privileged male depictions.

In Models of God Theology for an Ecological, Nuclear Age, Rev. Dr McFague writes, “We construct the worlds we inhabit, but also that we forget we have done so.”

In 2011, Rev. Dr McFague took part in a memorable dialogue with the Delai Lama about global warming and their respective faiths’ response.

In a statement after the meeting, Rev. Dr McFague said middle-class North Americans should do to combat climate change, she said that more people should use their influence in order to gain better outcomes. 

“…[T]hose of us with money, influence, and various forms of expertise should harness our specific and considerable gifts to help change minds and legislation to reverse and control global warming,” she said.

“Twenty per cent of us have considerable power, influence, and money and we should use it not to serve soup to the needy but to change legislation at public levels as well as practice simplicity in our personal lives.”

The Vancouver School of Theology issued a statement expressing their condolences.

“Sallie was Distinguished Theologian in Residence at VST since 2000 and the author of many books and articles in theology,” the statement said.

“VST extends our sincere condolences to Rev. Janet Cawley, Sallie’s partner. Arrangements for a service celebrating and commemorating her life will be forthcoming.”


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