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Losch, Richard R. 1933-

LOSCH, Richard R. 1933-

PERSONAL: Born December 26, 1933, in Boston, MA. Education: Yale College, A.B., 1956; attended Berkeley Divinity School, Yale University, M.Div., 1959; North Carolina State University, M.Ed., 1990. Religion: Episcopalian. Hobbies and other interests: Computer programming, sculpture, shipbuilding.

ADDRESSES: Home—P.O. Box 1560, Livingston, AL 35470-1560. Office—c/o William B. Eerdmans, 255 Jefferson St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

CAREER: Episcopal priest, 1959-69; secondary school teacher, 1966-85; computer programmer and consultant, 1985-86; St. Timothy's School, Raleigh, NC, principal, 1986-88, math instructor, 1988-89; Cape Fear Academy, Wilmington, NC, math instructor, 1989-93; University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL, math instructor, 1994-2000, assistant professor of statistics, 2001—; St. James' Episcopal Church, Livingston, AL, rector, 1994—.

MEMBER: Rotary International, Freemasonry, Boy Scouts of America, American Mensa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Silver Beaver, St. George Award, and Vigil Honor, all from Boy Scouts of America.

WRITINGS:

The Many Faces of Faith: A Guide to World Religions and Christian Traditions, William B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2001.

SIDELIGHTS: Among author Richard R. Losch's primary writing duties prior to his first book publication was the contribution of a regular column to the newsletter of the Episcopal parish where he was the rector. In each article, Losch provided a summary of the history and tenets of major world religions and branches of Christianity aimed at educating reader with little knowledge of faiths outside their own. Losch's book The Many Faces of Faith: A Guide to World Religions and Christian Traditions extends his readership beyond his parish, providing an elementary introduction to world religion that, despite Losch's admitted "Christian perspective," attempts to present each in an objective, factual manner.

Christian traditions are covered in part two of the book, and encompass those of Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans, Baptists, Mennonites, Quakers, Methodists, and others. Other religions discussed in the first section of the book include Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Islam, and Neopaganism. Losch also includes Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Unitarian Universalism among non-Christian traditions, a decision of minor controversy due to the fact that many members of those sects consider their religion in line with Christianity. Losch focuses on clarifying theological terms and dispelling myths and misunderstandings, while discussing only the essential and distinguishing facets of each religion or denomination.

Reviews of Losch's work were mixed. A critic for Publishers Weekly found that The Many Faces of Faith contains a number of generalizations and misrepresentations of non-Christian faiths, particularly Mormonism and Islam. The reviewer concluded, "In the preface, Losch admits how little he knew about world religions before tackling this project. Many readers will wish he had taken the time to learn more." Ray Olson, reviewing The Many Faces of Faith for Booklist, had a more positive view of the book, remarking that "Losch purveys an awesome amount of information with maximal objectivity."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August, 2001, Ray Olson, review of The Many Faces of Faith, p. 2055.

Publishers Weekly, July 30, 2001, review of The Many Faces of Faith, p. 81.

OTHER

Eerdmans Publishing Web site,http://www.eerdmans.com/ (October 7, 2001), book description for The Many Faces of Faith.

Richard R. Losch Home Page,http://members.telocity.com/rlosch/ (October 7, 2001).*

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