Burton Mack
(1931-2022)

Burton Mack was the John Wesley Professor emeritus in early Christianity at the Claremont School of Theology and a leading scholar and well-known public writer on “Christian origins.”  Burton Mack was a Fellow of the Westar Institute.

Author of numerous books and renowned professor for the last forty-five years, Burton led scholarly movements that reframed the first one hundred and fifty years of “Christian” history from mythical projections to social histories of the various Jesus groups.

His most popular books were A Myth of Innocence: Mark and Christian Origins (1988), The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins (1994), and Who Wrote the New Testament?: The Making of the Christian Myth (1995).

He was founder and co-chair of the Society of Biblical Literature Seminar on Redescribing Christian Origins, which lasted for over ten years. His scholarship and public leadership about the historical Jesus made waves around the world.

In his last fifteen years, Mack finished his “Christian origins” work in order to address the legacy of the Christian myth in politics. He wrote Myth and the Christian Nation: A Social Theory of Religion (2008), Critical Times for America: the Politics of Amnesia (2015), and The Rise and Fall of the Christian Myth: Restoring our Democratic Ideals (2017).

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