Dorothee Soelle: Manipulating Human Desire

Dorothee Soelle

“Trivial religion in the age of consumerism” has made human desires totally manipulable. All desires to be different, to become a new being, to relate differently to others, to communicate in a new way, have been exchanged for the wish to possess things. It makes a difference whether a person says at some point in life, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10), or whether the yearnings that take this direction of radical change find no language in which to express themselves. These lines are not promoting some bourgeois inner spirituality. Their context speaks against such an interpretation. It simply states the human desire to be other than one is (“renewed”) and to have a “right” spirit, a less vacillating one.”–Dorothee Soelle, “Rebellion Against Banality”

From The Strength of the Weak:Toward A Christian Feminist Identity by Dorothee Soelle (Westminster Press, 1984)

2 responses to “Dorothee Soelle: Manipulating Human Desire”

  1. This is a direct quote from Soelle. On page 15 of The Strength of the Weak (1984 English edition) in the chapter titled “Rebellion Against Banality.” I love Soelle! And I’m just getting around to reading her books and theology, as opposed to her articles and politics.

  2. Thanks for this, Rose. This is rich food for thought as I think about the gospel reading for Sept 2, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. Is this a direct quote from Soelle, or your thoughts in response to “Rebellion Against Banality”?

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