Religion: Fury of A Feminist Scorned

A German theologian takes sarcastic aim at priests and sex

She was the very model of modern Roman Catholic femininity: wife, mother and the first woman in Germany appointed to teach theology under church auspices. For good measure, Uta Ranke-Heinemann was a convert from Protestantism, the daughter of a West German President and the wife of a first cousin of Poland's Catholic Primate. Nonetheless, in 1987 the German hierarchy forced the University of Essen to oust Ranke-Heinemann from her Catholic professorship and give her another teaching post that would not imply any church endorsement. Her sin: in defiance of Christian teaching, Ranke-Heinemann had concluded that Mary was not a virgin when...

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