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John Shelby Spong

American bishop

John Shelby Spong is ...


Born 16 June 1931 in Charlotte
Died 12 September 2021 in Richmond
Age 90 years, 3 months

Sex or gender male
Country of citizenship United States of America
Occupation priest, theologian, philosopher and writer
Position held bishop
Influenced by Honest to God
Member of Phi Beta Kappa Society
Educated at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Virginia Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School

About John Shelby Spong

John Shelby Spong is a controversial figure in the world of Christianity. Born on June 16, 1931, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Spong has spent his life challenging traditional Christian beliefs and advocating for a more inclusive and progressive interpretation of the Bible.

Spong's journey to becoming a bishop began in the 1950s when he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating, he went on to study at the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia and was ordained as a priest in 1955.

Throughout his career, Spong has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, women's rights, and racial justice. He has also been a vocal critic of traditional Christian beliefs, arguing that many of them are outdated and no longer relevant in today's world.

Spong's most controversial beliefs center around his rejection of many traditional Christian doctrines, including the virgin birth, the resurrection, and the idea of a literal hell. He has also argued that the Bible should be interpreted metaphorically rather than literally.

Despite the controversy surrounding his beliefs, Spong has been a respected figure in the Episcopal Church for many years. He served as the bishop of the Diocese of Newark from 1979 to 2000 and has written numerous books on Christianity and spirituality.

Spong's legacy is one of challenging the status quo and advocating for a more inclusive and progressive Christianity. While his beliefs may not be accepted by everyone, his impact on the church and the wider world cannot be denied.


- "John Shelby Spong." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 23 June 2021.

- "John Shelby Spong." ReligionFacts. ReligionFacts, n.d. Web. 23 June 2021.

- "John Shelby Spong." The Episcopal Church. The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, n.d. Web. 23 June 2021.

About Death

Spong died in sleep at his home in Richmond, Virginia, on September 12, 2021, at the age of 90. The notice was announced by the St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia, where Spong had once been rector.

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