April 12, 2017
Frederick H. Borsch, fifth Bishop of Los Angeles and formerly interim Dean of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, has died.
Educated at Princeton, Oxford, and the General Theological Seminary, Borsch held a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham in England.
Borsch was the author and editor of some 20 books, including scholarly works such as his The Son of Man in Myth and History (1967), two novels and a poetry collection.
From 1998 to 2000 Borsch was chair of the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops. He served for seven years on the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, and was a member of the Anglican Consultative Council, after which he chaired the 1988 Lambeth Conference section titled “Called to Be a Faithful Church in a Plural World.”
Frederick Borsch served as dean, president and professor of New Testament at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif. Prior to his election in 1987 as fifth bishop of Los Angeles, Borsch was dean of the chapel and professor of religion at Princeton University. At the time of his death, Bishop Borsch was professor of New Testament and chair of Anglican Studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, where he had served for the past decade.
He came to Yale between the departure of R. William Franklin and the appointment of Joseph H. Britton, at a time of uncertainty for the School. Faculty member Carolyn Sharp remembers that Bishop Borsch ”brought a beautiful calmness, kindness, and pastoral presence to this community. He was just marvelous as a healer during the year and a half he was here.”
Former Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold III praised Borsch’s “theological acumen that was so important for the House of Bishops and the wider church as we made our way through various issues. He was a superb scholar and colleague widely respected in academia and the Anglican Communion.”
[with acknowledgement to the Church Divinity School of the Pacific]