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Extended Audio Sample Eternal Life: A New Vision: A New Vision Audiobook, by John Shelby Spong Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00980392156863 out of 53.00980392156863 out of 53.00980392156863 out of 53.00980392156863 out of 53.00980392156863 out of 5 3.01 (204 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Shelby Spong Narrator: John Morgan, John Michael Morgan Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9780061845598
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Drawing on a lifetime of wisdom, New York Times bestselling author and controversial religious leader John Shelby Spong continues to challenge traditional Christian theology in Eternal Life: A New Vision. In this remarkable spiritual autobiography about his lifelong struggle with the questions of God and death, he reveals how he ultimately came to believe in eternal life. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Fear of death is the most fundamental fear of human existence. The only way it can be conquered is through knowledge and experience of your eternal being. Eternal Life: A New Vision is elegant invitation to find this part of yourself and be liberated.”

    Deepak Chopra

  • “His courage, candor and intense awareness are unique gifts to people both inside and outside Christianity at this critical time in human and planetary history.”

    Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing

  • “This work, bound to be influential, offers new insights into religion’s big questions about life and death, making an invaluable contribution to both religious scholarship and faithful exploration.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Spong has spent his life and work making sense of this most fundamental human issue…His fans will find this spiritual autobiography fascinating, but so, too, should anyone interested in the still uncomfortable topics of death and mortality.”


  • “With subtlety and complexity, Spong promotes an idea of an ongoing existence beyond our physicality, one that entirely supercedes “religious” notions of Heaven or Hell and even conventional notions of God…Spong’s writing here as elsewhere is intelligent, engaged, comforting, and uplifting.”

    Library Journal

  • “In Spong’s perpetual quest for truth and knowledge, he has transformed the enigmatic cosmic energy of the ‘big bang’ into an afterglow of human hope for the ages.”

    Daniel H. Gregory, MD, senior attending physician, Bassett Healthcare 

  • “Spong once again puts his intellectual money on common sense…Religion’s purpose, he claims, is “security, not Truth”—a key insight that demands, in turn, a set of wholly new visions… Spong…[is] a unique visionary.”

    St. Louis Post Dispatch

  • “John Shelby Spong, the reinterpreter of Christianity for the doubtful, retired as the Episcopal bishop of New Jersey in 2001 but not from his religious provocations…People have to get beyond the idea of God as a heavenly judge who hands out rewards and punishment.”

    Atlanta Journal Constitution

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Klanette | 2/17/2014

    " I think Spong's best book was his autobiography. This one was disappointing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris | 2/15/2014

    " I enjoy Spong but couldn't finish this for some reason. Rehashes much of his older ideas and may add to them, but I didn't get that far! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sally | 2/5/2014

    " A very personal discussion and affirmation of continued existence after death. In his search for truth, Spong rejects a theistic God, the literal truth of scripture, and organized religion while still searching from a Christian perspective. His conclusions, centering on Jesus as a human being, are quite mystical. One need not agree with various features of his presentation of human history or humanity's relation to the rest of life on earth to find this book of interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 1/25/2014

    " A fantastic reminder that when Jesus said "The Kingdom of God is at hand" part of the meaning is that we, right now, are God's tools for bringing that Kingdom into the present. This book is a very thoughtful look at what really brings meaning to our present and future, and the role death plays in the wonders of life... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 1/16/2014

    " Another Spong eye-opener. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 1/7/2014

    " I agree with Spong that our culture and churches handle death in ways that are more harmful than helpful. I also found his last chapter about the right to die with dignity very compelling. This book made for excellent discussions with my book group, but overall, I didn't think it was his best work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joey | 1/7/2014

    " First book I've read this year and the best so far... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Pat | 12/28/2013

    " One of the best and most thought provoking books about religion that I have ever read (especially the second half). Needs to be read with an open mind and heart... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marion | 12/12/2013

    " Didnt read the book but participated in an on line synopsis that we discussed in my UU Christian Fellowship for several meetings "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 11/25/2013

    " Parts of the book are excellant. I enjoyed his discussion of the Gospel of John, as it has always been my favotite, and is often belittled for being too "mystic". His conclusion on the existence of eternal life is actually quite comforting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shawn | 1/2/2012

    " Spong has been a favourite writer of mine. I share his belief of a liberal Christianity. He does not disappoint in writing about a very difficult subject in which words often seem inadequate to express thoughts. Great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon Purcell | 1/10/2011

    " I'm a big fan of John Shelby Spong. I enjoyed this book a lot and will probably read it again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 8/6/2010

    " Spong contemplates death and describes how his spiritual life and beliefs have progressed to the mystery beyond any established religion. This makes you think. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Saralyn Pace | 11/16/2009

    " I like to read almost anything Bishop Spong wants to write. I saw him in person at Unity Village and found him fascinating. "

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About the Author
Author John Shelby Spong

John Shelby Spong was the Episcopal bishop of Newark before his retirement in 2000. As a leading spokesperson for an open, scholarly, and progressive Christianity, Bishop Spong has taught at Harvard and at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He has also lectured at universities, conference centers, and churches in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. His books include A New Christianity for a New World, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Resurrection: Myth or Reality?, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, and his autobiography, Here I Stand.

About the Narrator

John Michael Morgan is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.