Marcus Borg

Marcus Borg

Marcus Borg speaking in Mansfield College chapel.
Born Marcus J. Borg
(1942-03-11)March 11, 1942
Fergus Falls, Minnesota, United States
Died January 21, 2015(2015-01-21) (aged 72)
United States
Nationality American
Occupation Scholar, theologian, author

Marcus J. Borg (March 11, 1942 – January 21, 2015) was an American New Testament scholar, theologian and author.[1] He was among the most widely known and influential voices in progressive Christianity. As a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, Borg was a major figure in historical Jesus scholarship.[2] He retired as Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University in 2007 and died eight years later at the age of 72, of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.[3][4]

Early life and education

Borg was born March 11, 1942, in Fergus Falls, Minnesota,[5] and raised in a Lutheran family in North Dakota. After high school he attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Initially planning to be an astrophysicist, he decided to major in math and physics. He later changed his major to political science and philosophy. Though plagued by doubt as a young adult, after his undergraduate studies Borg accepted a Rockefeller Brothers Theological Fellowship to study at Union Seminary in New York City, where he became familiarized with liberal theology. One of the profound influences on Borg during his seminary years was the professor and noted theologian W. D. Davies. After his studies at Union, he matriculated at Mansfield College, Oxford, where he earned his M.Th. and his D. Phil.[6]


Borg taught at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, from 1966 to 1969 and 1972 to 1974; South Dakota State University in Brookings from 1975 to 1976; and Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, from 1976 to 1979. He was a faculty member at Oregon State University from 1979 until his retirement in 2007 as Distinguished Professor in Religion and Culture and the Hundere Endowed Chair in Religious Studies.[7] Borg was appointed Chair of the Religious Studies Department in January 1988. The Religious Studies Department was closed at the end of the 1991–1992 academic year and Borg became a faculty member in the Philosophy Department.[8] During his time at Oregon State he organized and led two nationally televised symposia, one in 1996 (Jesus at 2000), and another in 2000 (God at 2000). Borg also served as Visiting Professor of New Testament at the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley (1989–1991) and the Chism Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington (1986–1987).[9] Borg has been national chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, co-chair of its International New Testament Program Committee and president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars.[10] On May 31, 2009, he was installed as the first canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.[11] Borg has been a frequent collaborator with his friend John Dominic Crossan.[12][13][14][15] He was also a friend of N. T. Wright, despite their theological differences. The two discussed their differences in their book The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (1999, rev. 2007).[16][17] Borg has frequently been featured in programs on networks such as PBS, NPR and National Geographic, and has also made appearances on ABC World News and The Today Show.[18] In 2001, he debated William Lane Craig over the resurrection of Jesus.[19] Borg has also debated Craig Blomberg and James White on topics such as the historical reliability of the gospels and the historical Jesus.



  1. Haught, Nancy: "Belief and meaning: His faith in Jesus doesn't deter Marcus Borg from asking difficult questions about divinity", The Oregonian, 24 March 2007.
  2. Marcus Borg. Explore Faith. Accessed January 21, 2008.
  3. "Marcus Borg, leading liberal theologian and historical Jesus expert, dies at 72". Religion News Service. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  4. "HarperOne Mourns the Passing of Beloved Bestselling Author Marcus Borg". Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  5. " Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series".
  6. "Marcus J. Borg". Westar Institute. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  7. " Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series".
  8. "Guide to the Marcus J. Borg Papers 1969–2000". Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.
  9. "Marcus J. Borg". Westar Institute. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  10. "Marcus J. Borg". Westar Institute. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  11. Oregon: Marcus Borg named canon theologian at Trinity Cathedral in Portland. Diocesan Digest Episcopal Life Online. Accessed September 26, 2009.
  12. "Christian Pilgrimages with Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan at The Center for Spiritual Development". Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  13. "Interview on 'First Paul' with Marcus Borg & John Dominic Crossan – Explore". Explore. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  14. "Living the Questions". Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  15. "The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Birth: Marcus J. Borg, John Dominic Crossan: 9780061430701: Books". Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  16. "Meaning of Jesus, The: Marcus J. Borg, N. T. Wright: 9780061285547: Books". Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  17. "N. T. Wright & Marcus Borg — Idolatry". Christian Conversations Now. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  18. "About Me". Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  19. Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? on YouTube Debate with William Lane Craig
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.