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Born of a Woman

A Bishop Rethinks the Virgin Birth and the Place of women in a Male Dominated Church

John Shelby Spong, bestselling author and Episcopal bishop of Newark, NJ, challenges the doctrine of the virgin birth, tracing its development in the early Christian church and revealing its legacy in our contemporary attitudes toward women and female sexuality.

born of a woman


Spong provides a courageous look at the biblical stories of the birth of Jesus, and their implications. Spong is careful to acknowledge previous scholars and to distinguish fact or knowledge from speculation. He encourages a midrashish or imaginative approach to the Gospels and points out how literalism of scripture and creed in the Virgin Mary references led to sexism in church teaching. This book is a marvelous combination of scholarly, speculative, and imaginative reflection written in language accessible to the theologically unsophisticated.


Review & Commentary