David Jenkins (bishop)

David Jenkins
Born 26 January 1925 (1925-01-26) (age 86)
Bromley, Kent
Occupation Bishop of Durham
Theologian
Spouse Stella Mary (Molly) Jenkins née Peet

David Edward Jenkins (born 26 January 1925) is a Church of England cleric and former Bishop of Durham, a position he held from 1984 until 1994.

Jenkins was born in Bromley, Kent and educated at St Dunstan's College, Catford. He had been a lecturer in theology at the University of Oxford, Chaplain and Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford and worked for the World Council of Churches and the William Temple Foundation before his controversial appointment. He had written numerous books on Christian theology, given Bampton Lectures on the Incarnation at Oxford and been a professor at the University of Leeds from 1979 until 1984.[1]

His selection as Bishop of Durham was controversial due to allegations that he held heterodox beliefs. His "conjuring trick with bones" comment was criticised[who?] in particular, though some[who?] have argued that he was misquoted. The original line appears to have been "[the Resurrection] is real. That's the point. All I said was 'literally physical'. I was very careful in the use of language. After all, a conjuring trick with bones proves only that somebody's very clever at a conjuring trick with bones." [2] He had stated on other occasions his view that the resurrected Christ lacked a physical body, but the paraphrase of his quote as "just a conjuring trick with bones", while common, is unfair.

Three days after his consecration as bishop on 6 July 1984, York Minster was struck by lightning, resulting in a disastrous fire which some[who?] interpreted as a sign of divine displeasure at Jenkins's appointment.[3]

As a bishop, Jenkins was known for his willingness to speak his mind. After leaving office in 1994 he continued to voice his opinions, such as in a BBC interview in 2003.[4] In 2005, he became one of the first clerics in the Church of England to publicly bless a civil partnership between two homosexual men, one of whom was a vicar.

In 2006, Jenkins was banned from preaching in some of his local churches after reportedly "swearing" in a sermon.[3] (The words used were "bloody" and "damn".)

His daughter Rebecca is an author of crime novels set in 19th-century Durham[5]

See also

References

Church of England titles
Preceded by
John Habgood
Bishop of Durham
1984–1994
Succeeded by
Michael Turnbull



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