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Former Episcopal Bishop John S. Spong to speak at Wake Forest University March 21


March 12, 2007

The Rt. Rev. John S. Spong, who served as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years until his retirement in 2000, will discuss “The Meaning of Religious Anger” at 2 p.m. March 21 in Wake Forest University’s Wait Chapel.  The event is free and open to the public.

The most-published member of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States, Spong’s books include “The Sins of Scripture:  Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love,” “A New Christianity for a New World:  Why Traditional Faith is Dying & How a New Faith is Being Born” and “Here I Stand:  My Struggle for a Christianity of Integrity, Love, and Equality.”  Spong has also published more than 100 articles.

Admired by supporters as a teaching bishop who makes contemporary theology accessible to the ordinary lay person, Spong is considered by many to be a champion of an inclusive faith.  His books, which have challenged the way Christians view the Bible, and his fight for equal rights within the Christian church for women and homosexuals have made him the target of criticism.

Spong has described his writing as that of a “Christian who loves the church, not a hostile critic.  When I left fundamentalism I did not leave my love of the Bible,” Spong has said.

Born in Charlotte in 1931, Spong was educated in the city’s public schools.  He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1952 and received his Master of Divinity degree in 1955 from the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia.

That seminary and St. Paul’s College awarded him honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees.  He served as rector of St. Joseph’s Church in Durham from 1955 to 1957; rector of Calvary Parish in Tarboro from 1957 to 1965; rector of St. John’s Church in Lynchburg, Va., from 1965 to 1969; and rector of St. Paul’s Church in Richmond, Va. from 1969 to 1976.  He was consecrated bishop on June 12, 1976.

He is a former president of the New Jersey Council of Churches and served on the House of Bishop’s Theology Committee.

Spong’s appearance is sponsored by the Wake Forest University Divinity School and Centenary United Methodist Church.

For more information about the lecture, call (336) 758-5121.

Press Contacts:

Jacob McConnico
(336) 758-5237


Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237


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