Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Saturday, April 21, 2007

F W Boreham: Theology Connecting with Human Need

F W Boreham wrote newspaper editorials in which he called for compassion and just laws for those disadvantaged by age, gender, disability and race. These articles reflected Boreham’s conviction that theology must connect with acts of freedom and justice. He said that a theology that was disconnected from human need was dead and, writing about the less fortunate in life, he contended, “The religion that has nothing to say to the hindmost is no religion for a world like this.”[1]

Not only did Boreham write articles that discussed the link between different activities of life and religion, but he also suggested connections between one part of life and another. His call to break out from one’s specialty and develop an all-roundedness stemmed from his belief about ‘life’s oneness.’ For instance, he drove this point home in a 1954 editorial when he declared:

"And life is one .… Each realm impinges upon the others, and everything in each stands related to everything in the universe. The philosopher must have eyes and ears for all things everywhere. He must study the ways of grubs but he must study also the ways of God. Eternity is not too vast nor microscopic atoms too small for his attention. Physical life is not too sordid for his research nor spiritual life too sublime. And if some things can only be perceived through a veil, indistinctly, that veil, like the tantalizing gossamer, must serve to pique the philosopher’s curiosity and lure him to his ultimate triumphs."[2]

In a world that is overly-compartmentalized and disconnected, Boreham called for his readers to recognize the integration that exists in life by valuing both the ‘spiritual’ and the ‘physical’, ‘grubs’ as well as ‘God,’ the ‘vast’ and the ‘small’, that which is perceived to be ‘sordid’ as well as that which is ‘sublime’.

Geoff Pound

Image: “He must study the ways of grubs but he must study also the ways of God.”

[1] F W Boreham, Mercury, 17 January 1948.
[2] Boreham, Mercury, 9 January 1954.