Famous 18th Century Theologians

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 1 John Wesley

John Wesley.
4
Famous As: Anglican Cleric and Christian Theologian
Birthdate: June 17, 1703
Sun Sign: Gemini
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.

 2 Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards.
4
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.

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 3 George Whitefield

George Whitefield.
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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.

 4 Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley.
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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.

 5 Johann Gottfried Herder

Johann Gottfried Herder.
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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.

 6 Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestley.
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Famous As: Discoverer of Oxygen
Birthdate: March 24, 1733
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Birstall
Died: February 6, 1804

Best remembered for his contribution to the chemistry of gases, Joseph Priestley was an English scientist, clergyman, political theorist and educator, who has been credited with discovering oxygen independently, publishing his findings before Carl Wilhelm could. A prolific writer, he has authored 150 works on various subjects including electricity. He also contributed immensely to the advancement of political and religious thoughts.

 7 Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab
4
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 1703 AD
Birthplace: Al Uyaynah, Saudi Arabia
Died: June 22, 1792
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 8 Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts
3
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748

 9 John Witherspoon

John Witherspoon
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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.

 10 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
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Famous As: Writer, Philosopher, Playwright, Poet, Librarian, Theologian, Dramaturge, Literary critic, Journalist
Birthdate: January 22, 1729
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kamenz
Died: February 15, 1781

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was a noted German dramatist, critic, and author, remembered especially for his contribution towards liberating German theatre from the influence of its classical and French counterpart. Known for such literary masterpieces like Miss Sara Sampson; Emilia Galotti; Minna von Barnhelm; Nathan the Wise; Laocoön; Hamburg Dramaturgy, he is now considered an outstanding representative of the Enlightenment era.

 11 Maria Gaetana Agnesi

Maria Gaetana Agnesi.
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Famous As: Mathematician, Philosopher, Theologian
Birthdate: May 16, 1718
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Milan
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.

 12 William Paley

William Paley
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Famous As: Philosopher, Theologian, University teacher
Birthdate: July 14, 1743
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Peterborough
Died: May 25, 1805

 13 Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort

Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort
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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 Edward Everett

Edward Everett.
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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.

 15 Alphonsus Liguori

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

 16 François Fénelon

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

 17 Shah Waliullah Dehlawi

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

 18 N. F. S. Grundtvig

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

 19 John Woolman

John Woolman
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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.

 20 Thomas Chalmers

Thomas Chalmers
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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.

 21 Johann Kaspar Lavater

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

 22 Albert Barnes

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

 23 Richard Bentley

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

 24 Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi

Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi
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Famous As: Religious scholar
Birthdate: 1855 AD
Birthplace: Aleppo, Ottoman Empire
Died: June 13, 1902

 25 İbrahim Müteferrika

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

 26 August Hermann Francke

August Hermann Francke
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: March 22, 1663
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lübeck, Germany
Died: June 8, 1727

Remembered as one of the chief figures of German Pietism, August Hermann Francke had also been a professor of theology at the University of Halle. Though criticized by radical Lutherans, his social activism saw him providing education and essentials for the poor at his Francke Foundations.  

 27 Hermann Samuel Reimarus

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

 28 Hosea Ballou

Hosea Ballou
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Famous As: Author, Theologian, Writer
Birthdate: April 30, 1771
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Richmond
Died: June 6, 1852

 29 Johann Albrecht Bengel

Johann Albrecht Bengel
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Famous As: Clergyman
Birthdate: June 24, 1687
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Winnenden, Germany
Died: November 2, 1752

It is unfortunate that German Lutheran clergyman Johann Albrecht Bengel is only remembered for his work on Greek New Testament. One of the greatest biblical scholars, he was also a devout Christian, who founded Swabian Pietism. He was also a pioneer in the modern textual criticism, in scientific exegesis and in modern eschatological study.

 30 Jeremy Collier

Jeremy Collier
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Famous As: Theatre Critic
Birthdate: September 23, 1650
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stow cum Quy,, England
Died: April 26, 1726

A non-juror bishop, theologian, celebrated author and theatre critic, Jeremy Collier refused to take oath of allegiance to King William III and was sent twice to prison for supporting James II. Despite that, he publicly gave absolution on the scaffold to King’s enemies and suffered reprisal for it. He published several works, some which became quite controversial.

 31 Johann Konrad Dippel

Johann Konrad Dippel
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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.

 32 Firmin Abauzit

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

 33 Anthim the Iberian

Anthim the Iberian
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 1650 AD
Birthplace: Kingdom of Kartli
Died: September 12, 1716

 34 Theophan Prokopovich

Theophan Prokopovich
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: June 18, 1681
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: September 19, 1736

 35 Robert Sandeman

Robert Sandeman
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: April 29, 1718
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Perth, Scotland
Died: April 2, 1771

 36 Johann Salomo Semler

Johann Salomo Semler
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: December 18, 1725
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saalfeld, Germany
Died: March 14, 1791

 37 Carl Friedrich Bahrdt

Carl Friedrich Bahrdt
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: August 25, 1741
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bischofswerda, Germany
Died: April 23, 1792

 38 Jean Leclerc

Jean Leclerc
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: March 19, 1657
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: January 8, 1736

 39 August Gottlieb Spangenberg

August Gottlieb Spangenberg
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: July 15, 1704
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hohenstein, Germany
Died: September 18, 1792

 40 Pasquier Quesnel

Pasquier Quesnel
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: July 14, 1634
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 2, 1719

 41 Daniel Ernst Jablonski

Daniel Ernst Jablonski
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: November 20, 1660
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mokry Dwór, Poland
Died: May 25, 1741

 42 Johann Nikolaus von Hontheim

Johann Nikolaus von Hontheim
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: January 27, 1701
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Trier, Germany
Died: September 2, 1790

 43 Thomas Woolston

Thomas Woolston
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: October 31, 1668
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Northampton, England
Died: January 27, 1733

 44 Johann Jakob Breitinger

Johann Jakob Breitinger
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 1, 1701
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: December 14, 1776

 45 Jean-Pierre de Crousaz

Jean-Pierre de Crousaz
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: April 13, 1663
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lausanne, Switzerland
Died: March 22, 1750

 46 Anton Friedrich Büsching

Anton Friedrich Büsching
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Famous As: Geographer
Birthdate: September 27, 1724
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stadthagen, Germany
Died: May 28, 1793

 47 Dositheos II of Jerusalem

Dositheos II of Jerusalem
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Famous As: Patriarch of Jerusalem
Birthdate: May 31, 1641
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Arachova, Greece
Died: February 8, 1707

 48 Enrique Flórez

Enrique Flórez
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: July 21, 1702
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Valladolid, Spain
Died: August 20, 1773

 49 Noël Alexandre

Noël Alexandre
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: January 19, 1639
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rouen, France
Died: August 21, 1724

 50 John Sergeant

John Sergeant
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Famous As: Priest
Birthdate: 1623 AD
Birthplace: Barrow-upon-Humber, England
Died: 1707 AD