Bishop John Shelby Spong, who took resurrection as a metaphor dies at 90

Source: Washington Post

By Harrison Smith

The Right Rev. John Shelby Spong, a liberal theologian and former bishop who shook up the modern Episcopal Church, championing the inclusion of women and LGBTQ people in the clergy while promoting a nonliteral interpretation of scripture, died Sept. 12 at his home in Richmond. He was 90.

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, where Bishop Spong had preached early in his ministry, confirmed his death but did not give a specific cause. Friends said his health had declined after he was hospitalized for a stroke in 2016.

Bishop Spong was an outspoken leader of the church’s liberal wing, known for his efforts to open the faith to marginalized groups and preach a message of love and justice that would resonate in an increasingly secular age. He acquired an international profile while writing more than two dozen books, appearing on TV shows such as “Oprah” and “Larry King Live,” and serving as bishop of Newark, where he was the spiritual leader of some 40,000 northern New Jersey Episcopalians from 1979 to 2000.

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