Remembering Marcus

marcus-borg-2When I first arrived at Oxford, my supervisor, George Caird, suggested that I read the work that one of his students had done. That student was Marcus Borg. At the time Marcus was yet to publish his dissertation and he had returned to the United States without a teaching position. But his dissertation, which illuminated the teaching of Jesus against the backdrop of first century Judaism and Roman domination was a brilliant piece of work. I spent weeks on end, poring over his thesis in the Bodleian Library. “I don’t know what’s become of him,” Caird observed.

Years later, after George died in 1984, Marcus reemerged. Spanning the study of Jesus and a wide variety of subjects, Marcus shaped the conversation about Jesus, the church, and Scripture in powerful ways over the space of four decades. I came to different conclusions about a number of issues, but Marc was always incisive, tenacious, thoughtful, and unfailingly gracious; and over the years he became a cherished friend. It is a testimony to that gracious patience with disagreement that he wrote and lectured alongside another good friend and one of George Caird’s students…NT Wright.

I will miss him. Gone too soon and too quickly. Rest in peace and light eternal, dear friend.

Remembering Marcus Borg and other Patheos Topics

The Wrong Side of History
The One Reason a Global Church Matters
7 Reasons Why the Church Should Learn to Disagree
6 Questions We Need to Answer about Clergy Formation
About Frederick Schmidt

The Reverend Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr. holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and directs the Rueben Job Institute for Spiritual Formation. He is an Episcopal Priest, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, conference leader, writer, and consulting editor at Church Publishing in New York. He is the author of numerous published articles and reviews, as well as several books: A Still Small Voice: Women, Ordination and the Church (Syracuse University Press, 1998), The Changing Face of God (Morehouse, 2000), When Suffering Persists (Morehouse, 2001), in Italian translation: Sofferenza, All ricerca di una riposta (Torino: Claudiana, 2004), What God Wants for Your Life (Harper, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Revelation (Morehouse, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Luke (Morehouse, 2009), and The Dave Test (Abingdon, 2013). He and his wife, Natalie (who is also an Episcopal priest), live in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with their Gordon Setter, Hilda of Whitby. They have four children and five grandchildren: Henry, Addie, Heidi, Sophie, and Drew, with a sixth on the way.


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