Famous 19th Century Theologians

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 1 
Soren Kierkegaard
(Religious Author Who is Considered to be the First 'Existentialist' Philosopher)
Soren Kierkegaard
7
Birthdate: May 5, 1813
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 11, 1855

Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher, theologian, social critic, poet, and religious author. Widely regarded as the first existentialist philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard is sometimes referred to as the Father of Existentialism. He is also credited with influencing many theologians, philosophers, and writers like Paul Feyerabend, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Jorge Luis Borges.

 2 
Charles Spurgeon
(One of the Most Influential and Extraordinary Preachers of the 19th century)
Charles Spurgeon
7
Birthdate: June 19, 1834
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kelvedon, England
Died: January 31, 1892

Charles Spurgeon was an English Particular Baptist preacher who was a powerful figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition. Hailed as the "Prince of Preachers", he was well respected by Christians of various denominations. He was pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel for almost four decades. He was the author of several books, sermons, and commentaries. 

 3 
John Henry Newman
(Theologian and Philosopher)
John Henry Newman
5
Birthdate: February 21, 1801
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland United Kingdom
Died: August 11, 1890

An important figure in the English religious history, John Henry Newman was a nineteenth century theologian, scholar and poet. Famed for leading the Oxford movement in the Church of England, he later switched to the Roman Catholic Church, eventually becoming the Cardinal Deacon of St. George in Velabro.  Also an influential educator and writer, he was canonized in October 2019.

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 4 
William Booth
(Founder of the Salvation Army, Preacher)
William Booth
3
Birthdate: April 10, 1829
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sneinton, Nottingham, England
Died: August 20, 1912

Hailed as the Prophet of the Poor, William Booth was the co-founder and the first the General of the Salvation Army, a Christian church known for its world-wide charitable work. Initially a Methodist preacher, he was moved by the plight of the poor and formed the Salvation Army, aiming to deliver salvation by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs.

 5 
Joseph Smith Jr.
(Religious Leader and Founder of 'Mormonism' and the Latter Day Saint Movement)
Joseph Smith Jr.
17
Birthdate: December 23, 1805
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sharon, Vermont, United States
Died: May 27, 1844

Religious leader Joseph Smith Jr. is known as the founder of the Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. He also published the Book of Mormon. He established his communities in Ohio and Missouri and eventually founded the city Nauvoo in Illinois, which became the center of his spiritual activities.

 6 
Albert Schweitzer
(Physician and Founder of the “Albert Schweitzer Hospital” in Lambaréné,)
Albert Schweitzer
7
Birthdate: January 14, 1875
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France
Died: September 4, 1965

Albert Schweitzer was an Alsatian polymath who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his philosophical work, Reverence for Life. He is credited with founding the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, which was a direct result of his philosophical expression. Schweitzer is also credited with influencing the Organ reform movement, which began in the mid-20th-century.

Paramahansa Yogananda
5
Birthdate: January 5, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: March 7, 1952

Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian Hindu monk, yogi, and guru. He is known for introducing the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his organization Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) / Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) of India to millions across the world. He authored the book Autobiography of a Yogi and is considered the Father of Yoga in the West.

 8 
Swami Vivekananda
(Indian Monk & Philosopher Who Introduced the Vedanta and Yoga to the Western World)
Swami Vivekananda
11
Birthdate: January 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Died: July 4, 1902

The founder of the Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Math, Swami Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu monk, philosopher, and spiritual leader. He is credited with introducing the Indian philosophies of Yoga and Vedanta to the Western world. He is also credited with elevating the status of Hinduism as a major religion in the modern world by raising interfaith awareness.

 9 
Rudolf Otto
(German Theologian and One of the Most Influential Scholars of Religion in the Early Twentieth Century)
Rudolf Otto
5
Birthdate: September 25, 1869
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Peine, Germany
Died: March 6, 1937

Initially a professor of theology, philosopher Rudolf Otto later contributed to some of the most significant works of theology, such as The Idea of the Holy. He was also a member of the Prussian Parliament and is remembered for his services to Christianity and his idea of numinous.

 10 
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
(Indian Independence Activist and 1st Indian Minister of Education)
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
4
Birthdate: November 11, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Died: February 22, 1958

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an Indian independence activist, Islamic theologian, and scholar. He played a key role in the Indian independence movement, serving as a senior leader of the Congress. His contribution to the Indian education system is recognized across India by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day

 11 
Friedrich Schleiermacher
(German Theologian, Philosopher and an Early Leader in Liberal Christianity)
Friedrich Schleiermacher
5
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.

 12 
Hudson Taylor
(Missionary)
Hudson Taylor
3
Birthdate: May 21, 1832
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Barnsley, Yorkshire, England
Died: June 3, 1905

Hudson Taylor was one of the most popular Christian missionaries in China. His 51-year stint in China witnessed him baptizing over 50,000 people. Apart from converting people, he also mingled with the Chinese at a personal level, adopting their clothing habits, contrary to what other missionaries practiced.

 13 
Richard Allen
(American Clergyman Who was the First Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church)
Richard Allen
3
Birthdate: February 14, 1760
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 26, 1831

Born to slave parents, American clergyman Richard Allen became a Methodist convert at 22. He later founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church and served as its first bishop. Apart from establishing the first church for Blacks in the U.S., he worked on various aspects to improve the lives of Blacks.

 14 
Oswald Chambers
(Author, Theologian)
Oswald Chambers
3
Birthdate: July 24, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Aberdeen
Died: November 15, 1917
 15 
Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi
(Islamic Scholar, Reformer)
Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi
7
Birthdate: June 14, 1856
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bareilly
Died: October 28, 1921

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, also known as Ala-Hazrat, was a renowned Islamic scholar and an Urdu poet. Born in Bareilly, British India, he belonged to a family of Rohilla Pushtuns who had migrated from Qandahar. He wrote about various subjects such as philosophy, science, and astronomy.

 16 
Leo Baeck
(German Rabbi, Scholar and Theologian)
Leo Baeck
2
Birthdate: May 23, 1873
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Leszno, Poland
Died: November 2, 1956

German rabbi and spiritual leader Leo Baeck remains a symbol of liberal Jewish thinking of the Nazi era. He is best remembered for The Essence of Judaism and This People Israel, the latter of which was penned by him while in a Nazi concentration camp.

 17 
Karl Barth
(Theologian)
Karl Barth
4
Birthdate: May 10, 1886
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: December 10, 1968

Swiss theologian Karl Barth is best remembered for his iconic work The Epistle to the Romans. His opposition to the German National Socialism got him suspended as a professor at the University of Bonn. Along with Eduard Thurneysen, he revolutionized Protestant ideals. He also delivered sermons to prisoners in Basel.

 18 
Abraham Kuyper
(Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1901 - 1905))
Abraham Kuyper
3
Birthdate: October 29, 1837
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Maassluis, Netherlands
Died: November 8, 1920

After studying subjects such as literature and theology, Abraham Kuyper became a pastor and founded the Calvinist paper De Standaard. He later established the Anti-Revolutionary Party and also served the Netherlands as prime minister. He was also the founder of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands.

 19 
Vladimir Solovyov
(Philosopher)
Vladimir Solovyov
3
Birthdate: January 28, 1853
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: August 13, 1900
 20 
William Buckland
(English Theologian, Palaeontologist, and Geologist Who Wrote the First Full Account of a Dinosaur Fossil)
William Buckland
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1784
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Axminster, Devon, England
Died: August 14, 1856

William Buckland was an English theologian, palaeontologist, and geologist. He is best remembered for his service as the Dean of Westminster. He is credited with writing the first full account of a dinosaur fossil, which he named Megalosaurus. William Buckland pioneered the usage of fossilized faeces to reconstruct ecosystems. Buckland was the recipient of the prestigious Copley Medal.

 21 
Theodore Parker
(American Transcendentalist and Reforming Minister of the Unitarian Church)
Theodore Parker
4
Birthdate: August 24, 1810
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lexington, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 10, 1860

Theodore Parker was an American transcendentalist minister whose words and quotations would later help inspire popular speeches of the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. A reformer and abolitionist, Parker played a key role in fighting against such laws as the Fugitive Slave Act.

 22 
Bernard Bolzano
(Mathematician)
Bernard Bolzano
3
Birthdate: October 5, 1781
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prague, Czechoslovakia
Died: December 18, 1848
 23 
Bruno Bauer
(German Philosopher and Theologian Known for His Association and Sharp Break With ‘Karl Marx’ and ‘Friedrich Engels')
Bruno Bauer
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1809
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Eisenberg, Germany
Died: April 13, 1882

German philosopher Bruno Bauer is best remembered as a student of legendary German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel. Part of the group of intellectuals known as Young Hegelians, he was also a staunch Rationalist. He not only questioned the origin of Christ but was also accused of anti-semitism.

 24 
Ahmad al-Tijani
(Theologian)
Ahmad al-Tijani
3
Birthdate: 1735 AD
Birthplace: Aïn Madhi, Algeria
Died: 1815 AD
 25 
David Strauss
(German Theologian)
David Strauss
4
Birthdate: January 27, 1808
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Died: February 8, 1874

Protestant theologian David Strauss was 12 when he joined a seminary to study theology. Known for his works such as Das Leben Jesu, or The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, he criticized the Gospels and the miracles associated with Christ, thus inspiring future studies on the historical Jesus.

 26 
Edwin Abbott Abbott
(Theologian, Science fiction writer, Teacher, Writer, Novelist)
Edwin Abbott Abbott
3
Birthdate: December 20, 1838
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: October 12, 1926

Edwin Abbott Abbott was a theologian, schoolmaster, and Anglican priest. He is remembered for writing the 1884 novella Flatland. He served as the principal of the City of London School where he supervised the education of H.H. Asquith, who would go on to serve as the prime minister of the UK. Abbott is also credited with writing educational text books.

 27 
H. Richard Niebuhr
(Theologian)
H. Richard Niebuhr
4
Birthdate: September 3, 1894
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wright City, Missouri, United States
Died: July 5, 1962
 28 
Walter Rauschenbusch
(American Theologian and Baptist Pastor)
Walter Rauschenbusch
7
Birthdate: October 4, 1861
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States
Died: July 25, 1918

Walter Rauschenbusch was an American Baptist pastor and theologian. He played an important role in the single tax and Social Gospel movements by propagating the importance of theology through his book A Theology for the Social Gospel which he published in 1917. Walter Rauschenbusch's work influenced prominent personalities like Martin Luther King Jr., Norman Thomas, Desmond Tutu, and James McClendon.

 29 
Abai Kunanbaiuli
(Poet, Composer and Hanafi Maturidi Theologian)
Abai Kunanbaiuli
4
Birthdate: August 10, 1845
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Abay District, Kazakhstan
Died: July 6, 1904
 30 
Ashraf Ali Thanwi
(Former writer who authored several hundred books including Bayan Ul Quran and Bahishti Zewar)
Ashraf Ali Thanwi
4
Birthdate: 1862 AD
Birthplace: Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: 1943 AD

Ashraf Ali Thanwi was not just a prominent Indian Sunni Islamic scholar but had also penned countless books, such as Bayan Ul Quran, on various aspects of Islam. Apart from making efforts to retain the authority of Islamic scholarly tradition, he also supported the Muslim League and the creation of Pakistan.

 31 
Ronald Knox
(Author)
Ronald Knox
4
Birthdate: February 17, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kibworth, Leicestershire, England
Died: August 24, 1957
 32 
Pavel Florensky
(Theologian)
Pavel Florensky
3
Birthdate: January 22, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Yevlakh, Azerbaijan
Died: December 8, 1943

Russian theologian Pavel Florensky is best remembered for his essay The Pillar and the Ground of Truth. During Stalin’s regime and amid a phase of national atheism, he was sent to jail and also banished to Siberia for his religious beliefs, which he refused to renounce.

 33 
Sergei Bulgakov
(Russian Orthodox Theologian, Priest, Philosopher, and Economist)
Sergei Bulgakov
5
Birthdate: July 28, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Livny, Russia
Died: July 12, 1944

Born into a family of Russian Orthodox priests, Sergei Bulgakov, had grown distant from theology in his youth and studied law and political economy instead. Though he experimented with Marxism, he later moved back to the Church and formed what is now known as sophiology.

 34 
Benjamin Jowett
(British Tutor and Theologian)
Benjamin Jowett
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1817
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Camberwell, London, England
Died: October 1, 1893

Proving himself to be a brilliant classical scholar in school, Benjamin Jowett gained a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, where he was eventually elected a master and vice-chancellor. The 19th-century academic and Anglican theologian is remembered for his translation of The Dialogues of Plato and other classical texts.

 35 
Francis Asbury
(American Bishop)
Francis Asbury
3
Birthdate: August 20, 1745
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hamstead Bridge, Staffordshire, England
Died: March 31, 1816

Francis Asbury was a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He played an important role during the Second Great Awakening, popularizing Methodism in British colonial America. He is credited with establishing many schools and his journal is deemed important by scholars due to its account of frontier society; his journal has descriptions of the functioning of towns in Colonial America.

 36 
N. F. S. Grundtvig
(Danish Bishop and Founder of 'Grundtvigianism', a Theological Movement That Revitalized the Danish Lutheran Church)
N. F. S. Grundtvig
3
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.

 37 
E.B. Pusey
(Theologian)
E.B. Pusey
3
Birthdate: August 22, 1800
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pusey, England
Died: September 16, 1882
 38 
Moshe Feinstein
(Theologian, Rabbi, Philosopher)
Moshe Feinstein
4
Birthdate: March 3, 1895
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Uzda
Died: March 23, 1986
 39 
C. I. Scofield
(Theologian)
C. I. Scofield
3
Birthdate: August 19, 1843
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Michigan, United States
Died: July 24, 1921
 40 
Constantin von Tischendorf
(German Biblical Scholar Known for Discovering World's Oldest and Most Complete Bible)
Constantin von Tischendorf
3
Birthdate: January 18, 1815
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saxony, Germany
Died: December 7, 1874

Although best remembered for his discovery of the world's oldest handwritten Bible, known as Codex Sinaiticus or Sinai Bible, Konstantin Von Tischendorf, a renowned Biblical scholar, worked chiefly on recension of the New Testament text. A prolific writer making extensive contributions to biblical textual criticism, he is today best known for his magnum opus, Critical Edition of the New Testament.

 41 
Alexander Campbell
5
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. 

 42 
John Keble
3
Birthdate: April 25, 1792
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fairford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: March 29, 1866
 43 
George Kennedy Allen Bell
4
Birthdate: February 4, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hayling Island, England
Died: October 3, 1958
 44 
Thomas Chalmers
(Vice-President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh From 1835 to 1842)
Thomas Chalmers
3
Birthdate: March 17, 1780
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Anstruther, Fife, Scotland
Died: May 31, 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.

Frederick William Faber
3
Birthdate: June 28, 1814
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Calverley, England
Died: November 26, 1863
 46 
Muhammad Yusuf bin Ahmad
2
Birthdate: 1868 AD
Birthplace: Kampung Kenali, Kota Bharu, Malaysia
Died: November 19, 1933
 47 
Catherine Booth
(Co-Founder of the Salvation Army and Wife of Methodist Preacher William Booth)
Catherine Booth
3
Birthdate: January 17, 1829
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ashbourne, England
Died: October 4, 1890

Owing to a spinal ailment, Catherine Booth remained mostly at home as a child. She later founded The Salvation Army, with her Methodist preacher husband William Booth, thus helping the poor and the needy. She refused to believe women couldn’t preach the gospels and wrote the pamphlet Female Ministry.

 48 
Charles Hartshorne
(Philosopher)
Charles Hartshorne
2
Birthdate: June 5, 1897
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kittanning, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 9, 2000
 49 
Philip Schaff
(Church historian, Translator, Theologian, University teacher, Writer, Bible translator)
Philip Schaff
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1819
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chur
Died: October 20, 1893

Swiss-American theologian Philip Schaff is remembered for his works such as The Creeds of Christendom. He believed that the positive aspects of both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism could be blended into an ecumenical form of spirituality. He later founded and headed the American Society of Church History.

 50 
Emil Brunner
(Theologian)
Emil Brunner
3
Birthdate: December 23, 1889
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Winterthur, Switzerland
Died: April 6, 1966

Swiss Reformed theologian Emil Brunner was an important figure of the theological movement known as neo-orthodoxy. While he taught theology at the University of Zürich, he also lectured on tours all over the world and, in his later years, worked in Tokyo. He often disagreed with neo-orthodox figure Karl Barth.