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First Impressions Interview with John Shelby Spong On “Biblical Literalism as a Gentile Heresy”

A close reading of Matthew’s gospel reveals that a literal understanding of Jesus’s story obscures its deep Jewish roots. John Shelby Spong joins Art Remillard to discuss his new book, Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy. Spong was the Episcopal Bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000, and he is the author of several books to include Why Christianity Must Change or Die and his autobiography Here I Stand.

Spong Interview


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The Marginalia Review of Books is an international, open access review of literature along the nexus of history, theology, and religion. MRB examines, critiques, and illuminates the traditions, institutions, discourses, and practices of religions and their believers. We aim to connect the academic and public worlds by providing an intellectually rich and broadly accessible conversation that does not merely summarize previous work but contributes new ideas.

Review & Commentary