Sölle studied theology, philosophy and literature at the University of Cologne. She became active in politics, speaking out against the Vietnam War, the arms race of the Cold War and injustices in the developing world. Notably, from 1968 to 1972 she organized Cologne's Politisches Nachtgebet (political night-prayers). Between 1975 and 1987, she spent six months a year at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she was a professor of systematic theology.
She wrote a large number of books, including Theology for Skeptics: Reflections on God, The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance (2001) and her autobiography Against the Wind: Memoir of a Radical Christian (1999). In Beyond Mere Obedience: Reflections on a Christian Ethic for the Future she coined the term "Christofascist" to describe fundamentalists. Perhaps her best-known work in English was Suffering, which offers a critique of "Christian masochism" and "theological sadism." Sölle's critique is against the assumption that God is all-powerful and the cause of suffering; humans thus suffer for some greater purpose. Instead, God suffers and is powerless alongside us. Humans are to struggle together against oppression, sexism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of authoritarianism.
"I believe in God who created the world has not done such a thing that always must remain, not the ruled by eternal laws, which are immutable, not by natural systems of rich and poor, experts and uninformed, rulers and extradited. I believe in God, who wants the appeal of living and the change in all states through our work, our policy".
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