Nov 19, 2017

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00011

Last Name
BEHR-SIGEL
First Name
Elizabeth
Life Span
1907-?
Publications
Sources
Details
Born of a Protestant father and Jewish mother in Strasbourg, France, she was among the first women to be admitted to the theology faculty at the University of Strasbourg in 1926. She continued her studies in Berlin and Paris where she first encountered the Orthodox Church and was received in it by Fr. Lev Gillet. She became close friends of Russian Orthodox clergy Sergius Bulgakov, Nicolas Berdiaev, Mother Maria Skobotsova and lay theologians, Paul Evdokimov and Vladimir Lossky. She was allowed to officiate as a lay pastoral officiate during WWII due to a severe shortage of clergy. She published essays on the Russian Orthodox spiritual tradition and did her doctorate on 19th century Russian theologian Alexander Bukharev. Commenting on Gal 3:27, “There is no such thing as Jew and Greek, slave and freemen; male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”, she wrote, “This proclamation of Paul, which does not abolish the differences but does away with all the contempt and enmity that may exist between them, has resounded through the centuries… But you will ask, what about the empirical realities in our so-called Christians societies and nations? As Orthodox Christians, together with other baptized Christians, we cannot but confess, collectively and individually, our infidelity to the ‘celestial vision’. This is the tragedy of our historical existence that is not yet transfigured by the light of Christ, though already recipient of the first fruits of the new life.”

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