Famous 18th Century Theologians

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 1 Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: December 18, 1707
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Epworth, Lincolnshire, England
Died: March 29, 1788

One of the leaders of the Methodist revival movement, Charles Wesley is better known as the author numerous hymns and carols. Love Divine, All Loves Excelling and Christ the Lord Is Risen Today being some of his more popular works.  Averaging ten poetic lines per day for fifty years, he published more than 4,500 hymns, leaving some 3,000 in manuscript.

 2 Johann Gottfried Herder

Johann Gottfried Herder
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: August 25, 1744
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Morąg, Poland
Died: December 18, 1803

German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder is best remembered as a significant figure of the Sturm und Drang literary movement. Born into poverty and largely self-educated till 17, he later became a disciple of Immanuel Kant and was associated with Enlightenment and Weimar Classicism. He was eventually ennobled.

 3 George Whitefield

George Whitefield
Famous As: Evangelist, Theologian
Birthdate: December 16, 1714
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gloucester, England
Died: September 30, 1770

George Whitefield was an Anglican evangelist and cleric. He is credited with co-founding the evangelical movement and Methodism. Whitefield's teachings of a series of revivals in North America became an important component of the First Great Awakening. Thanks to his ability to captivate large audiences, George Whitefield preached to millions of listeners during his ministry.

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 4 John Wesley

John Wesley
Famous As: Cleric
Birthdate: June 28, 1703
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Epworth, England
Died: March 2, 1791

John Wesley was an English cleric, evangelist, and theologian. He is best remembered for leading a revival movement called Methodism within the Church of England. He is credited with founding societies that eventually became the dominant form of the Methodist movement, which remains relevant today. He continues to be the main theological influence on Methodists all over the world.

 5 Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards
Famous As: Preacher, Theologian, Philosopher
Birthdate: October 5, 1703
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: East Windsor, Connecticut, United States
Died: March 22, 1758

Jonathan Edwards was an American philosopher, revivalist preacher, and Congregationalist Protestant theologian. Considered one of America's most prominent and influential philosophical theologians, Jonathan Edwards played a major role in shaping the Evangelical Revival of the 1730s and 1740s. His theological work is credited with paving the way for a new school of theology called the New England theology.

 6 Swedenborg

Famous As: Theologian, Philosopher, Scientist
Birthdate: January 29, 1688
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: March 29, 1772

Emanuel Swedenborg was a Swedish pluralistic-Christian philosopher, mystic, theologian, and scientist. Swedenborg started hogging the limelight after writing a book on the afterlife titled Heaven and Hell, which released in 1758. A prolific scientist and inventor, Swedenborg experienced spiritual awakening after which he started working on reforming Christianity. He even claimed that he could converse with angels and demons.

 7 Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748
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 8 John Witherspoon

John Witherspoon
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 5, 1723
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gifford, Scotland
Died: November 15, 1794

John Witherspoon was a Scottish American slaveholder, Presbyterian minister, and Founding Father of the United States. A signatory to the Declaration of Independence, Witherspoon also signed the Articles of Confederation. He also played a crucial role in shaping public policy in the United States of America.

 9 Friedrich Schleiermacher

Friedrich Schleiermacher
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: November 21, 1768
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: February 12, 1834

Hailed as an early leader of liberal Christianity, Lutheran philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher was also an eminent biblical scholar and theologian. Best remembered for his works on hermeneutics and theory of translation, he also had a great impact on the evolution of higher criticism and became known for his attempt to reconcile the criticisms of the Enlightenment with traditional Protestant Christianity.

 10 Maria Gaetana Agnesi

Maria Gaetana Agnesi
Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher, Theologian
Birthdate: May 16, 1718
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: January 9, 1799

Italian mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi, daughter of an affluent silk trader, was well-versed in a number of languages as a child. Most of her work was regarding algebra, calculus, and the Witch of Agnesi. She was also the first female academic to write a math book and to teach math.

 11 Edward Everett

Edward Everett
Famous As: Former American senator
Birthdate: April 11, 1794
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
Died: January 15, 1865

Edward Everett was an American politician, diplomat, educator, pastor, and orator. Widely regarded as one of the great orators of the Civil War and antebellum eras, Everett is remembered for his two-hour speech at the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg in 1863, where Abraham Lincoln delivered his popular Gettysburg Address. Edward Everett also taught ancient Greek literature at Harvard University.

 12 William Buckland

William Buckland
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: March 12, 1784
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Axminster, Devon, England
Died: August 14, 1856

 13 Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort

Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort
Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: January 31, 1673
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Montfort-sur-Meu, France
Died: April 28, 1716
Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort is known as a preacher and was made a missionary apostolic by Pope Clement XI. The French Roman Catholic priest also authored several books which later became classic Catholic titles and influenced several popes. An early writer in the field of Mariology, he published Secret of the Rosary and True Devotion to Mary about Marian devotions.

 14 William Paley

William Paley
Famous As: Christian apologist, philosopher, and utilitarian
Birthdate: June 30, 1743
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Peterborough, England
Died: May 25, 1805

 15 Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 1703 AD
Birthplace: Al Uyaynah, Saudi Arabia
Died: June 22, 1792

 16 Bernard Bolzano

Bernard Bolzano
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: October 5, 1781
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prague, Czechoslovakia
Died: December 18, 1848

 17 François Fénelon

François Fénelon
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: August 6, 1651
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sainte-Mondane, France
Died: January 7, 1715

François Fénelon was a French writer, poet, theologian, and Catholic archbishop. He is best remembered for his book The Adventures of Telemachus, which was published in 1699. François Fénelon also served as a tutor of Louis, Duke of Burgundy, guiding the character formation of Louis, Grand Dauphin's eldest son.

 18 Ahmad al-Tijani

Ahmad al-Tijani
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 1735 AD
Birthplace: Aïn Madhi, Algeria
Died: 1815 AD

 19 N. F. S. Grundtvig

N. F. S. Grundtvig
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 8, 1783
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vordingborg Municipality, Denmark
Died: September 2, 1872

N. F. S. Grundtvig was a Danish author, pastor, poet, historian, teacher, philosopher, and politician. By the end of the 19th century, Grundtvig's philosophy had given rise to a new sense of nationalism, for which he is often counted among the most influential Danish people of all time. He is also remembered for promoting values like compassion, wisdom, and equality.

 20 John Keble

John Keble
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 25, 1792
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fairford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: March 29, 1866

 21 Thomas Chalmers

Thomas Chalmers
Famous As: Mathematician, Theologian, Writer, University teacher, Economist
Birthdate: March 17, 1780
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Anstruther
Died: May 30, 1847

Scottish Presbyterian minister and political economist Thomas Chalmers has been immortalized by the town of Port Chalmers in New Zealand, named after him. An ordained minister, he was initially a math lecturer. He later became the Free Church of Scotland’s first moderator. He tried applying Christian ethics to economic problems.

 22 Johann Kaspar Lavater

Johann Kaspar Lavater
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: November 15, 1741
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: January 2, 1801

Best known for his research on physiognomy, Johann Kaspar Lavater was also a theologian and an author. He had penned books such as Aussichten in die Ewigkeit and several epic and lyric poems. He died of a grenade wound during the French occupation of Switzerland.

 23 Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: December 1, 1798
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rome, New York, United States
Died: December 24, 1870

 24 Richard Bentley

Richard Bentley
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: January 27, 1662
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oulton, England
Died: July 14, 1742

 25 Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès

Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: May 3, 1748
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fréjus, France
Died: June 20, 1836

Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès, also known as the Abbé Sieyès, was a French Roman Catholic Abbé, clergyman, and political writer. He was a chief political theorist of the French Revolution and held offices in the French Consulate government. He is credited to have coined the term sociologie in an unpublished manuscript. He led a rather uninvolved social life.

 26 Al-Shawkani

Famous As: Islamic jurist, Theologian
Birthdate: 1759 AD
Birthplace: Yemen
Died: 1839 AD

 27 Ferdinand Christian Baur

Ferdinand Christian Baur
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: June 21, 1792
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Schmiden, Germany
Died: December 2, 1860

 28 Elias Hicks

Elias Hicks
Famous As: Quaker minister
Birthdate: March 19, 1748
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hempstead, New York, United States
Died: February 27, 1830

 29 İbrahim Müteferrika

İbrahim Müteferrika
Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: 1674 AD
Birthplace: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Died: 1745 AD

 30 Alphonsus Liguori

Alphonsus Liguori
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: September 27, 1696
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Marianella, Naples, Italy
Died: August 1, 1787

Catholic bishop Alphonsus Liguori was the man behind the formation of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, also known as the Redemptorists. He stepped into his spiritual life after an 8-year stint as a lawyer. He is also remembered for his works on moral theology and equiprobabilism.

 31 Timothy Dwight IV

Timothy Dwight IV
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: May 14, 1752
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Northampton, Massachusetts, United States
Died: January 11, 1817

 32 William Prout

William Prout
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: January 15, 1785
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Horton, England
Died: April 9, 1850

 33 Shaykh Ahmad

Shaykh Ahmad
Famous As: Religious leader
Birthdate: April 30, 1753
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia
Died: June 27, 1826

 34 Ignaz von Döllinger

Ignaz von Döllinger
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: February 28, 1799
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bamberg, Germany
Died: January 10, 1890

 35 Hosea Ballou

Hosea Ballou
Famous As: Former Universalist clergyman, theological writer
Birthdate: April 30, 1771
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Richmond, New Hampshire, United States
Died: June 6, 1852

 36 Wilhelm Gesenius

Wilhelm Gesenius
Famous As: Biblical critic
Birthdate: February 3, 1786
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nordhausen, Germany
Died: October 23, 1842

 37 Johann Konrad Dippel

Johann Konrad Dippel
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: August 10, 1673
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mühltal, Germany
Died: April 25, 1734

Remembered as the “mad scientist,” Johann Konrad Dippel is considered by many as the person who had inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein. He used the pseudonym Christianus Democritus to write various scientific texts and claimed his concoction Dippel's oil was the "elixir of life" that promised immortality.

 38 Saint Nicodemus the Hagiorite

Saint Nicodemus the Hagiorite
Famous As: Monk
Birthdate: 1749 AD
Birthplace: Náxos, Greece
Died: July 14, 1809

 39 Hermann Samuel Reimarus

Hermann Samuel Reimarus
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: December 22, 1694
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: March 1, 1768

 40 Joseph von Görres

Joseph von Görres
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 25, 1776
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Koblenz, Germany
Died: January 29, 1848

 41 Samuel Hopkins

Samuel Hopkins
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: September 17, 1721
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Waterbury, Connecticut, United States
Died: December 20, 1803

 42 Antonio Rosmini

Antonio Rosmini
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: March 25, 1797
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rovereto, Italy
Died: July 1, 1855

Antonio Rosmini was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and philosopher who founded the Rosminians, officially known as the Institute of Charity. A key figure in Italian Liberal Catholicism, he pioneered the concept of social justice. He had a doctorate in theology and canon law and was appointed as a political advisor to the government of Piedmont. 

 43 Franz Xaver von Baader

Franz Xaver von Baader
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: March 27, 1765
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: May 23, 1841

Roman Catholic philosopher Franz Xaver von Baader followed in his doctor father’s footsteps to study medicine initially but soon switched to mining engineering. He later deviated permanently to politics and religion. Rejecting Western philosophy, he propagated the Scholastic school and penned his thoughts in journals and short essays, using mystical symbols.

 44 Shah Waliullah Dehlawi

Shah Waliullah Dehlawi
Famous As: Muslim Scholar
Birthdate: February 21, 1703
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Delhi, India
Died: August 20, 1762

Trained in Islamic education by his father, who established the Madrasah-i Rahimiyah, Shah Waliullah Dehlawi had memorized the Qur'an by age 7. He grew up to be a prominent Islamic theologian who modernized Islam with ideas such as taṭbīq and the practice of ijtihad. Asrār al-dīn remains his best-known work.

 45 Domenico Barberi

Domenico Barberi
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: June 22, 1792
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Viterbo, Italy
Died: August 27, 1849

Italian mystic and theologian Domenico Barberi was born into a peasant family and had no formal education. Ordained a priest, he later began his career as a lecturer of theology and a missionary. He was also the man behind four Passionist houses in England and had plans to establish one in Ireland.

 46 William Ellery Channing

William Ellery Channing
Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: April 7, 1780
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Died: October 2, 1842

William Ellery Channing was an American preacher. One of the most important Unitarian preachers in the early-19th century, Channing was also one of Unitarianism's most prominent theologians. Remembered for his impassioned and articulate public speeches and sermons, Channing had a major influence on the New England Transcendentalists. In 1903, he was honored with a statue at the Boston Public Garden.  

 47 Firmin Abauzit

Firmin Abauzit
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: November 11, 1679
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Uzes, France
Died: March 20, 1767

 48 Samuel Simon Schmucker

Samuel Simon Schmucker
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: February 28, 1799
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hagerstown, Maryland, United States
Died: July 26, 1873

Samuel Simon Schmucker was a theologian and Lutheran pastor. He played a key role in the founding of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg as well as Gettysburg College. He also played a major role in the founding of the Evangelical Lutheran General Synod of the United States of America. He was also well-known for his efforts as an abolitionist.

 49 John Woolman

John Woolman
Famous As: Religious leader
Birthdate: October 19, 1720
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ancocas, New Jersey, United States
Died: October 7, 1772

John Woolman was an American tailor, merchant, abolitionist, journalist, and Quaker preacher. He is best remembered for preaching Quaker beliefs after traveling through the American frontier. He condemned slavery, cruelty to animals, conscription, and economic injustices. He also published several essays against slavery. His journal, which he carried throughout his life, was published posthumously as The Journal of John Woolman.

 50 Alexander Campbell

Alexander Campbell
Famous As: Minister
Birthdate: September 12, 1788
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Broughshane, County Antrim, Ireland
Died: March 4, 1866

Alexander Campbell was a Scots-Irish immigrant who went on to become an ordained minister in America. He then joined forces with his father and led a reform effort, which came to be known as the Restoration Movement. Also referred to as the Stone-Campbell Movement, it helped develop non-denominational Christian churches.