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Marcus J. Borg (born 1942) is an American New Testament scholar, theologian and author. He is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar and was formerly Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University, a position from which he retired in 2007. Borg is among the most widely known and influential voices in progressive Christianity and is a major figure in scholarship related to the Historical Jesus.
Borg was born 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 decided 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 his professor and the noted theologian W. D. Davies. After graduating from Union he then matriculated at Mansfield College, Oxford University, where he earned his D. Phil.
Borg 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. 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. 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 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. On May 31, 2009, he was installed as the first canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Borg has been a frequent collaborator with his friend John Dominic Crossan He is 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 (2000). 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. In 2001, he debated William Lane Craig over the resurrection of Jesus. Borg has also debated Craig Blomberg and James White on topics such as the historical reliability of the gospels and the historical Jesus.