FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO – Marcus J. Borg, beloved husband and father, renowned teacher, author and leading scholar of the historical Jesus, New Testament and contemporary Christianity, died on January 21, 2015, following a battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. He was 72 years of age.
Marcus Borg was an internationally revered speaker and scholar who authored or co‐authored 21 books, some which were New York Times and national bestsellers. His books have won multiple awards and been translated into twelve languages. The New York Times called him, “a leading figure in his generation of Jesus scholars.”
Marcus Borg earned his doctorate degree from Oxford University. He was a professor at Oregon State University for 28 years where he held the Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture at the time of his retirement in 2007. His long career has included appointment as Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature and co‐chair of its International New Testament Program Committee, president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars, and a Fellow of the Jesus Seminar. He was a greatly sought‐after speaker and lecturer domestically and internationally at universities, colleges, churches, retreat centers and museums, including both The Chautauqua and The Smithsonian institutions.
Mark Tauber, SVP and Publisher of HarperOne, says, “I am deeply saddened by the passing of our author and our friend Marcus Borg. His life and his work have been a challenge, a comfort and an inspiration to literally millions of readers and students over the years. Marcus was unafraid to follow the scholarly evidence where it led him while both communicating complexity fluently and remaining a man of faith. In these times when writing and speaking (and illustrating) messages and stories that seek truth are dangerous, Marcus Borg was a hero and a beacon.”
Marcus Borg was known for teaching that a deep understanding of the historical Jesus and the New Testament can lead to a more authentic life—one not rooted in dogma, but spiritual challenge, compassion, community and justice. He was often quoted and re‐taught, among many things, for his work on the meaning of Easter and resurrection. He wrote, “Easter is not primarily about Jesus’ triumph over death and future for us beyond death. Rather Easter stories in the gospels and the affirmation of Jesus’ resurrection in the rest of the New Testament are much more significant. Moreover, their meanings are not dependent upon whether a spectacular miracle happened to the physical body of Jesus.”
Marcus is survived by his wife Marianne, son Dane, son‐in‐law Benjamin, daughter Julie, grandson Carter, and terriers Henry and Abbey. A public memorial of celebration and remembrance will be held at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland OR — early afternoon on Sunday, March 22.
Contact: Renée Senogles, Publicity Manager, HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
Phone 415‐477‐4476, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcus Borg’s books
Conflict, Holiness and Politics in the Teachings of Jesus (1984)
Jesus: A New Vision (1987)
Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994)
The God We Never Knew (1997)
The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (1999)
Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001)
The Heart of Christianity (2003)
Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (2006)
Living the Heart of Christianity (2006)
Conversations with Scripture: Mark (2009)
Putting Away Childish Things (2010 – a novel)
Speaking Christian (2011)
Evolution of the Word (2012)
Convictions: How I Have Learned What Matters Most (2014)
He was the co‐author of three books with John Dominic Crossan,
The Last Week (2006), The First Christmas (2007), and The First Paul (2009);
one with N. T. Wright, The Meaning of Jesus: TwoVisions (1998);
one with Jack Kornfield, Jesus and the Buddha (2004);
one with Thomas Moore, The Lost Gospel Q (1999);
and one with Mark Scorer, Embracing an Adult Faith (2010).