Examining the Meaning of the Resurrection, Part II: Who Stood in the Center of the Easter Breakthrough?

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 1 June 2011 0 Comments
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I recall reading recently a request from a follower asking if you have ever considered producing a TV program.  Frankly, I don’t think a TV program is effective for “this form of teaching/lectures.”  However, over the last month I have discovered an excellent educational organization, The Great Courses.  I do not know what business conditions apply to producing lecture/courses for them (the religion courses that I purchase are all presented by excellent lecturers, including Professor Amy-Jill Levine, Professor Bart D. Ehrman and Professor Emeritus James Hall.)  Although I’m almost certain that a Bishop easily qualifies as a professor equivalent.  Regardless, I am certain that your courses would outsell almost all of its contemporary (traditional) religious programs-and I would be one of your biggest customers.  Anyway I wanted to pass this information along.  Their website is at www.aboutgreatcourses.com.


Dear Mark,

I am an avid fan of the Great Courses series produced by The Teaching Company in Virginia.  Founded by a Harvard graduate, Tom Rollins, they get the best professors from the best universities in the United States and Great Britain to record these programs, enabling them to teach far beyond the walls of their particular universities. I would guess that I have taken over 50 of their courses in Astrophysics, Physics, Biology, Math, Chemistry, History, Music and Art, as well as the courses in Religion that you mention I love them and recommend them all the time.

Since my career has been in the parish churches as rector and in a diocese as bishop, I don’t fit their format, but I am a happy consumer.  I take about ten of the Teaching Company’s courses a year.  I take their DVD courses when I am running on my treadmill for four miles each morning.  I take their CD courses when I am driving, hiking, cooking and shaving.  My goal in life is to be an educated man.  The Teaching Company helps me walk toward that goal.

~John Shelby Spong




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