In Remembrance of the Rt. Rev. Edmond Lee Browning

The Episcopal Divinity School community mourns the death of the Rt. Rev. Edmond Lee Browning, the 24th presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church. Bishop Browning’s prophetic actions in embracing outcasts and the “other” during his leadership guided The Episcopal Church towards a path of progressive inclusion.

Bishop Browning led from the ground up. He ministered to the poor and those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, worked on advancing Native American ministries and the ministry of the laity, advocated for the full participation of women, people of color, and LGBTQ people in the church, and envisioned a world devoid of racism and oppression of the marginalized. Bishop Browning’s reach was international and cross-cultural, and his leadership enabled The Episcopal Church to forge relationships across political and ecumenical lines. It was for his visionary and inspirational life of ministry that EDS conferred an honorary degree upon him in 1990.

Undoubtedly, Bishop Browning himself most poignantly summed up the essential purpose of the church during his address to the 71st General Convention in Indianapolis in 1994—a summation that remains as relevant as ever today:

“God’s call to be a compassionate church is echoing even louder in my ears. In this Convention we proclaim One God, One Family, One Earth. Injustice against people and injustice against the earth are rotten fruit from the same rotten tree. I pray we will emerge from this Convention knowing that the issues or racism, environmental degradation, and economic injustice must be approached as one, and responded to with compassion, and conviction.”

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.