The Rev. Peter J. Gomes, theologian, author, Harvard professor of christian morals and minister at Boston’s Memorial Church, died Feb. 28 from complications arising from a stroke. Dr. Sharon Groves, director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith Program, released a statement after Gomes’ death.
“Rev. Gomes was instrumental in shaping how a new generation approaches the Bible and the discussion of sexuality,” Groves said. “Gomes deftly demonstrated in the pulpit and on the page how the Bible has systematically been used as a tool of both liberation and oppression.
“But Gomes did more than rail against religious bigotry; he offered a way for religious people to claim their faith and their sexuality … In his 1996 bestseller, ‘The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart,’ he taught people to pay attention to the spirit of the Bible rather than viewing it as a convenient shield for their prejudices.
“He was a paradigm-shifter who gave religious and secular leaders alike a way to see how the dream of equality for all people had a resounding place among the faithful. He will be deeply missed.”