Speaking Christian: Redeeming Christian Language
A lecture by Marcus J. Borg
Originally presented at Westar Institute’s Spring 2010 Meeting
Religions are like languages. Each has its own words, sacred texts, stories, images of how to live, and language enacted in ritual and ceremony. To be Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist means “to speak Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist.” So also to be Christian means to know, use, and be shaped by Christian language. Yet, in our time, much of Christian language is poorly understood. For some, it is an unfamiliar language. Others who are familiar with Christian language misunderstand it. Marcus Borg explores important Christian words like salvation, savior, redemption, redeemer, righteousness, mercy, sacrifice, and more, and seek to reclaim their richer biblical meanings. What is at stake is understanding Christianity itself.
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Marcus J. Borg (D. Phil., Oxford University) is Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. He was Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University until his retirement in 2007. Borg is the author of nineteen books, including the bestselling The Heart of Christianity, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, and the novel Putting Away Childish Things. He was an active member of the Jesus Seminar when it focused on the historical Jesus, and he has been chair of the Historical Jesus section of the Society of Biblical Literature.