Remembering Letha Dawson Scanzoni (October 9, 1935 – January 9, 2024)

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

A picture of Nancy Hardesty and Letha Dawson Scanzoni standing together in 1973
Nancy Hardesty and Letha Dawson Scanzoni in 1973

Letha Dawson Scanzoni, founding member of the Evangelical Women’s Caucus (EWC), now known as Christian Feminism Today, passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 9, 2024.

Notification of her death was sent to family and friends by her son, David Scanzoni. From David’s email:

Letha’s groundbreaking books and impactful articles brought love and hope to literally thousands of people across the U.S. and in other countries during a six-decade career that began in the early 1960s.

She often received letters of thanks and appreciation from depressed or downtrodden individuals who told her that her uplifting writings had literally saved their lives.

Letha also was a close personal friend to many people, always generous in her time, her counsel, her encouragement and her spirit.

She was a loving, wonderful daughter, sister, mother and grandmother, as well, serving as a kind and giving role model to every member of her family in multiple ways.

Her joy, her energy and her humor will be sorely missed by all, but her legacy and a full lifetime of happy memories live on.

With Nancy Hardesty, Letha coauthored the book, All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992), listed by Christianity Today as one of the top 50 books that shaped evangelicals. All We’re Meant to Be is arguably the book that inspired the biblical feminist movement within evangelicalism.

The book she wrote with Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? (Harper & Row, 1978; revised edition, HarperOne, 1994) was quite controversial when it was published, being one of the very first books to advocate lesbian and gay equality within Christianity.

Both books, among several she published in her lifetime, are credited with changing, and saving, countless lives.

During her fifty years with the Christian Feminism Today organization, Letha served in several capacities, including coordinating conferences and filling several roles in the organization’s leadership. She edited the organization’s newsletter/magazine, EEWC Update (later titled Christian Feminism Today) from 1994 until it went out of print in 2012, and authored many articles and interviews during its entire existence.

Letha, Linda Bieze, and Letha’s son, Steve Scanzoni, created the organization’s website in 1998, and Letha remained its content manager until her retirement from that role at the end of 2013.

During the following years, she continued to write for the website and provide substantive editing. She was the longtime editor of Reta Halteman Finger’s Reta’s Reflections feminist Bible study blog. The last article she authored for the CFT website, a memorial post about Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, was published in 2021.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Learn more about Letha’s life and work by exploring her website, Letha’s Calling, or by reading any of the numerous articles she authored on this website, linked below.

Please feel free to share your own memories of Letha’s impact on your life in the comments.

Related Memorial Posts and Articles:

Letha Dawson Scanzoni: The Person Behind the Theologian
(Alena Ruggerio and Linda Bieze remember the friendship and Bible study with Letha)
Letha Dawson Scanzoni: A Christian Feminist Voice 
(Kendra Weddle remembers Letha’s life and work.)
Letha Dawson Scanzoni, Pioneer of Evangelical Feminism, Dies at 88
(The New York Times)
Died: Letha Dawson Scanzoni, Who Argued Feminism Is Biblical
(Christianity Today)
The Prophetic Voice You May Not Have Heard
(Melanie Springer Mock writing for Current)
Tribute to Letha Dawson Scanzoni
(on Jann Aldredge Clanton’s website)
Remembering Letha Dawson Scanzoni
(on Kristin Du Mez’s Substack)
Letha’s Official Obituary
(on the Roseboro’s Mortuary & Crematory website)
Remembering Christian Feminist Trailblazer Letha Dawson Scanzoni | 1935-2024
(by Isaac Sharp, on Good Faith Media)

Letha Dawson Scanzoni on Christian Feminism Today:

Content related to Letha’s life and work:

An Interview with Letha Dawson Scanzoni
A Review of Building Bridges: Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Friends
When Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott Met Harvey Milk
Letha Dawson Scanzoni Receives the 2011 Carrier Pigeon Award
Announcement Regarding Letha Dawson Scanzoni’s Retirement

Most popular articles written by Letha:

A Christian Feminist Remembers Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015)
When Evangelicals Were Open to Differing Views on Abortion (on the FemFaith blog, with Kendra Weddle and Melaine Springer Mock)
Where can I find music and hymns that use inclusive language? (with Anne Linstatter)
The Inclusive Bible
There Is More than One Christian View on Homosexuality

CFT Blogs featuring Letha’s work:

FemFaith (co-written by Letha, Kendra Weddle, and Melanie Springer Mock)
72-27 (co-written with Kimberly George)
Reta’s Reflections (Bible studies written by Reta Halteman Finger and edited by Letha)

A list of all posts, articles, and reviews by Letha.

 

© 2024 by Christian Feminism Today

 

Editors
The Christian Feminism Today website addresses topics of interest to Christian feminists. It features articles, opinion pieces, reviews of books and recordings (audio and video), interviews with Christian women and men who live according to Christian feminist principles and promote gender equality, love, and social justice among all people. We welcome submissions for consideration. Writer's guidelines are here.

1 COMMENT

  1. I first read All We’re Meant To Be while at Wheaton College, in 1977 or so. It impressed me so much that I memorized the authors’ names so I could follow any other writings. More than a decade later, when I was telling a friend about the book, she said “You need to meet my friend Letha.” I immediately said, that was the authors name, Letha – Letha Dawson Scanzoni.” Yes, her friend was the same Letha, & we did meet, & Letha became a friend, a mentor, an encourager & an inspiration in my life for many years. I’ve treasured her presence & her influence on my life & faith. I think she needs a prestigious award for all the did & was!

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