Frederick H. Borsch

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The Right Reverend

Frederick Houk Borsch
Bishop of Los Angeles
Fred Borsch.jpg
ChurchEpiscopal Church
DioceseLos Angeles
Elected8 January 1988
In office1988–2002
PredecessorRobert C. Rusack
SuccessorJ. Jon Bruno
Personal details
Born(1935-09-13)September 13, 1935
Oak Park, Illinois, United States
DiedApril 11, 2017(2017-04-11) (aged 81)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
ParentsReuben Borsch & Pearl Houk
SpouseBarbara Edgeley Sampson
Alma materPrinceton University

Frederick Houk Borsch (September 13, 1935 – April 11, 2017) was the Episcopal bishop of Los Angeles from 1988 to 2002, then served as interim dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University and chair of Anglican studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Remembered particularly for the development of Spanish-speaking congregations, the founding of the Episcopal Urban Intern Program (Episcopal Service Corps), his leadership in environmental stewardship, the building of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, and advocacy for poverty-wage workers and the living wage while bishop in Los Angeles, he also served for twelve years as the chair of the House of Bishops' Theology Committee and as a member of the design and steering teams for the 1988 and 1998 Lambeth Conferences, chairing the section "Called to be a Faithful Church in a Plural World" in 1998.[1][2] Working with the Standing Commission on Human Affairs, he helped the General Convention of 1994 to include in the church's canons sexual orientation in the non-discriminatory clauses for ordination. When George L. Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, visited a store-front ministry for undocumented refugees in 1996 in the impoverished MacArthur Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, Borsch made sure that the Archbishop knew that the priest who founded the ministry, Philip Lance, was gay.[3]

Educated at Princeton, Oxford and the General Theological Seminary, his Ph.D. degree is from the University of Birmingham in England. In addition to teaching posts in England, at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and the General Theological Seminary, he was a dean, president, and professor of New Testament at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He was dean of the chapel with rank of professor of religion at Princeton University (1981–1988; again interim in 2007) where he taught in the program in the History, Archaeology and Religions of the Ancient World.

Since 2013, Borsch has been listed on the advisory council of the National Center for Science Education.[4]

Borsch died on April 11, 2017, due to complications from myelodysplastic syndrome. He was 81.[5]

Published works[edit]

Contributor of essays, articles and poetry to a number of journal and newspapers, he has been a conference leader and given university and seminary lectures at institutions in this country and abroad. In 1985, for thirteen weeks, he was the preacher for the Protestant Hour.

Among his more than twenty books are

  • Keeping Faith at Princeton: A Brief History of Religious Pluralism at Princeton and Other Universities. Princeton University Press. 2012. ISBN 0-691-14573-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link);
  • Parade: Poems of Dark and Light Alike (2010)
  • Our First Atom Bomb: An All-American Story (2009)
  • Introducing the Lessons of the Church Year (1978: new and 3rd ed. 2009)
  • Day by Day; Loving God More Dearly (2009)
  • The Spirit Searches Everything: Keeping Life's Questions. Cowley Publications. 2005. ISBN 978-1-56101-226-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • The Magic Word (2001)
  • Outrage and Hope: A Bishop's Reflections in Times of Change and Challenge. A&C Black. 1996. ISBN 978-1-56338-170-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Christian Discipleship and Sexuality (1993)
  • The Bible's Authority in Today's Church (ed. 1993)
  • Many Things in Parables (1988)
  • Jesus: the Human Life of God (1987)
  • Anglicanism and The Bible (ed. 1984)
  • Power and Weakness* (1983)
  • Coming Together in the Spirit (1980)
  • God's Parable (1975)
  • The Christian and Gnostic Son of Man. S.C.M. Press. 1970. ISBN 978-0-334-00183-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • The Son of Man in Myth and History (1967)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "The Other Bishop". Los Angeles Times Magazine. April 11, 1999. pp. 16–19, 44–42.
  2. ^ "Biography of Fred Borsch". Archived from the original on 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2011-08-15.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "The Backyard Missionary". Los Angeles Times. 1999-04-11. Retrieved 2020-11-04.
  4. ^ "Advisory Council". National Center for Science Education. Archived from the original on 2013-08-10. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  5. ^ "Bishop Fred Borsch has died". Episcopal Cafe. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 2017-04-13.

External links[edit]