Bishop John Harvey Taylor
The Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor was elected as seventh bishop of Los Angeles in December 2016 and took office in December 2017. Besides his duties as chief pastor and teacher to some 55,000 Episcopalians in six counties, he has devoted himself to promoting reconciliation, transparency and a stronger financial and organizational foundation for the diocese’s 200 parishes, missions, schools and other institutions.
In those called to leadership in the church, whether lay or ordained, he encourages the exercise of empathy and curiosity as tools of evangelism, to enrich relationships and build new ones across the barriers of difference and prejudice according to race, language, geography, orientation, identification, age, and socioeconomics.
The spouse of Canon Kathy O’Connor, father of four and grandfather of two, Bishop Taylor is a former newspaper reporter, director of the Nixon library and former chief of staff to President Richard Nixon.
What are you excited about being a judge for the Michael Ramsey Prize?
“Afflicting the denominational church in the U.S. are the steady secularization of society and, when they do write about religion, the media’s relentless focus is on the most conservative Christian expressions – and understandably, since they wield so much political influence. Yet while religious institutions get a bad name, most people are still hungry for reassurance that their lives have purpose and the universe a benevolent heart, in one form or another. The highly approachable texts the Michael Ramsey Prize process favors are just what our thoughtful seekers need. It will be a privilege to play a role in this important project.”
What are you hoping to find in selecting a winner for the Michael Ramsey Prize? Are there certain qualities or attributes that you’re looking for?
“I hope we’ll look for books that address the issues priests, pastors, and lay leaders always raise — the nature and work of God, the persistence of suffering and injustice, the frontier between the observable world and the realm of faith, and the purpose of a well-lived life.”