Élisabeth Behr-Sigel has been referred to as a
"mother of the
and for our time. Born in 1907, she was a living memory of the Church in
the 20th century. Baptized into the Protestant Church, Madame Behr-Sigel
heard the call to follow Jesus at an early age. She followed this call and
was one of the first women students of theology in
France, graduating from
the University of Strasbourg. After graduation she served as the pastor of
a country parish in the Reformed Church for one year. During her studies
she had discovered Orthodoxy through her friends and
colleagues of the Russian emigration:
Metropolitan Evolgy, Frs. Sergius
Bulgakov and Lev Gillet,
St. Maria Skobtsova,
was especially enchanted by the vision of Church as
unity in communion: "a community of men and women...
joined in joy and peace
of the Holy Trinity." This introduction eventually led her to embrace the
Throughout her lifetime, Madame Behr-Sigel served the Church in many
capacities. She was an instructor of theology at St. Sergius Orthodox
Theological Institute in Paris and for many years was a theological
consultant to the assembly of Orthodox bishops in France.
She was particularly known for efforts to reflect on and reevaluate
the place of
women in the Church, which continued until her repose
Reflexions sur l'Iconostase, (undated).
From Le Monde des Icones,
Neuchatel: Ides et Calendes, n.d.
Les Fous pour le Christ et la
sainteté laique dans l'ancienne Russie, (1939).
From Irenikon (15) 554.
Prière et Sainteté dans
l'Église russe, (1950).
Bellefontaine Abbey, 1982.
La Prière de Jésus, ou le mystére de la
spiritualité monastique orthodoxe,
From Spiritualité orientale (14) 81.
Alexandre Boukharev --
un théologien de l'Église orthodoxe russe
en dialogue avec le monde moderne, (1977).
Paris: Beauchesne, 1977.
The Ministry of Women in the Church, (1987).
Redondo Beach: Oakwood, 1990.
The Place of the Heart --
An Introduction to Orthodox Spirituality, (1989).
Un Moine de l'Église d'Orient --
Paris: Cerf, 1993. Biography of Fr. Lev Gillet,
her spiritual father.
Orthodoxy and Peace, (1995).
From In Communion, 3 (Nativity Fast 1995).
Apparently no longer online.
Women in the Orthodox Church, (1999?).
From St. Nina Quarterly (2/2).
--- St. Nina Quarterly
Discerning the Signs of the Time, (2001).
SVS, 2001. A collection of essays.
From In Communion, 35 (Fall 2004).
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