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Rev. Dr Letty Russell

Writing to Dr Shannon Clarkson, the partner of Rev. Dr Letty Russell, who died on 12 July 2007, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia expresses the Council's sadness over the loss of "one of the most renowned woman theologians in the world," who "has left her mark on the World Council of Churches."

18 July 2007


Rev. Dr Letty Russell, one of the most renowned woman theologians in the world, has left her mark on the World Council of Churches and we wanted to let you know that we deeply mourn her loss. She will be remembered for her deep commitment to the church and to the ecumenical movement and to the

thousands of women whose lives she has touched, globally.

She served on the WCC's Faith and Order Commission from 1975-1983 and was one of the drafters of the document "Giving Account of the Hope Together" (Bangalore, India, 1978).

Her books that have centred around her theological and ecclesiological vision of the church as inclusive and justice-seeking community have influenced the WCC women's programme in the period after the Harare Assembly (1998). She was one of the members of the internationally constituted steering group on the process Being Churches: Women's Voices and Visions and gave it her leadership at global and regional levels.

She is the visionary behind the Doctor of Ministries in Feminist Theologies Programme, which she helped set up as a joint project between the WCC theological education programme and San Francisco Theological Seminary, USA. Through this programme she has ensured that over sixty women from all parts of the world (particularly ensuring that women from the South secure scholarships) are registered for furthering their theological education in new and creative fields of research so as to complete their theses for securing a doctoral degree. Dr. Letty Russell will be remembered warmly because of the personal interest she took in each student, helping them through any difficulties they faced either in the course work or in their personal lives.

The announcement that has come with her memorial that contributions can be made to the WCC's Sarah Chakko Theological Endowment Fund, and to the Global Women in Theology Fund at San Francisco Theological Seminary is indicative of this commitment. We want to assure you that we will stay committed to this partnership, though we will miss her leadership in this programme.

We ask for God's comfort to be with you and the rest of her family in this time of mourning,

Yours sincerely,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia

General Secretary