Famous British Theologians

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Find out more about the greatest British Theologians, including William Penn, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Winthrop, William Tyndale and Joseph Priestley.
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 1 
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. 

 2 
John Henry Newman
(Theologian and Philosopher)
John Henry Newman
6
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.

 3 
William Tyndale
(Theologian)
William Tyndale
4
Birthdate: 1494 AD
Birthplace: North Nibley
Died: October 6, 1536

English scholar, William Tyndale, became a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. He is known for translating the Bible into English. An active writer, he wrote extensively on political issues and religion. He was accused of heresy and condemned to be burned to death. Executed in 1536, he is honored as a martyr.

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 4 
John Wycliffe
(Philosopher, Theologian)
John Wycliffe
4
Birthdate: 1328 AD
Birthplace: Hipswell, United Kingdom
Died: December 31, 1384

John Wycliffe was an English theologian, scholastic philosopher, biblical translator, priest, and reformer. He was also associated with the University of Oxford where he served as a seminary professor. John Wycliffe played a key role in the development of the Bible's translation into English. Wycliffe’s works also greatly influenced the teaching and philosophy of a Czech reformer named Jan Hus.

 5 
Charles Wesley
4
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.

 6 
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.

 7 
Roger Williams
(9th President of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations)
Roger Williams
7
Birthdate: December 21, 1603
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 15, 1683

Roger Williams was a 17th-century Puritan minister and theologian. He founded Providence Plantations, which later became the US state of Rhode Island. He advocated for fair dealings with Native Americans and believed in religious freedom. He disapproved of perpetual chattel slavery. After being expelled by the Puritan leaders, he founded the First Baptist Church in America. 

 8 
John Wesley
(English Clergyman, Theologian, Evangelist and Co-Founder of the Methodist Movement in the Church of England)
John Wesley
4
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.

 9 
George Whitefield
(Evangelist, Theologian)
George Whitefield
5
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.

 10 
Saint John Fisher
(English Priest)
Saint John Fisher
3
Birthdate: November 30, 1469
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beverley, England
Died: June 22, 1535
 11 
N. T. Wright
(New Testament Scholar, Pauline Theologian and Anglican Bishop)
N. T. Wright
5
Birthdate: December 1, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Morpeth, England

N. T. Wright is an English New Testament scholar. Also a Pauline theologian and Anglican bishop, he served as the bishop of Durham from 2003 to 2010. He calls for a biblical re-evaluation of theological matters and has authored several books and seminars about theology and Christian life. He is highly regarded in academic and theological circles. 

 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 
Isaac Watts
(Theologian)
Isaac Watts
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748
 14 
Karen Armstrong
(Theologian, Writer, University teacher)
Karen Armstrong
8
Birthdate: November 14, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Worcestershire

Karen Armstrong is a British commentator and author best known for writing books on comparative religion. Her work emphasizes the commonalities of major world religions like the Golden Rule and the importance of compassion. Karen Armstrong has received several prestigious awards, such as the Freedom of Worship Award and the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding.

 15 
William Brewster
(English Pilgrim Who Arrived in America in 'Mayflower' Ship in 1620 and Became Leader of the Plymouth Colony)
William Brewster
4
Birthdate: 1566 AD
Birthplace: Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
Died: April 10, 1644

William Brewster was an English official. He was among the passengers that traveled in Mayflower from England to the New World. When the ship landed at Plymouth Colony, William Brewster was accepted as the senior elder and hence became the religious leader of the colony. Eventually, he ended up serving as an adviser to Governor William Bradford.

 16 
Richard Baxter
(British Puritan Church Leader, Poet, Hymnodist, Theologian, and Controversialist)
Richard Baxter
3
Birthdate: November 12, 1615
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rowton, Shropshire, England
Died: December 8, 1691

Richard Baxter was an English poet, theologian, hymnodist, controversialist, and Puritan church leader. He was one of the most influential and important leaders of the Nonconformists. Today, he is commemorated in the Church of England with a feast day on 14 June.

 17 
Oswald Chambers
(Author, Theologian)
Oswald Chambers
3
Birthdate: July 24, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Aberdeen
Died: November 15, 1917
 18 
Richard Hooker
(Theologian)
Richard Hooker
3
Birthdate: March 25, 1554
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Heavitree, England
Died: November 3, 1600
 19 
William Laud
(Archbishop of Canterbury (1633–1645))
William Laud
5
Birthdate: October 7, 1573
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Reading, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: January 10, 1645
 20 
John Stott
(Theologian)
John Stott
3
Birthdate: April 27, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 27, 2011
 21 
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.

 22 
Bede
(English Monk at the Monastery of St. Peter, Best Known for His Work 'Ecclesiastical History of the English People')
Bede
3
Birthdate: 0673 AD
Birthplace: Jarrow, England
Died: May 26, 0735

Best known for his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, The Venerable Bede was an Anglo Saxon theologian and historian. An English Benedictine monk, he was taken to the monastery of St. Peter at age 7. He is now revered as the patron saint of English writers and historians.

 23 
Thomas Cranmer
(First Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury)
Thomas Cranmer
4
Birthdate: July 2, 1489
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Aslockton
Died: March 21, 1556

Thomas Cranmer was the first Protestant to be the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was instrumental in the annulment of Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which led to the separation of the English Church from the See of Rome. He was eventually burnt at the stake for preaching Protestantism.

 24 
William Paley
(Christian apologist, philosopher, and utilitarian)
William Paley
3
Birthdate: 1743
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Peterborough, England
Died: May 25, 1805
 25 
William Barclay
(Author,Theologian)
William Barclay
6
Birthdate: December 5, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: January 24, 1978
 26 
John Owen
(The Greatest Theologian of the English 'Puritan Movement')
John Owen
4
Birthdate: 1616 AD
Birthplace: Stadhampton, Oxfordshire, England
Died: August 24, 1683

English Puritan minister John Owen was a strong advocate of Congregationalism and a close associate of Oliver Cromwell. He also served as the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University. A proponent of Calvinism, or Reformed Theology, he also penned works on theological history and other religious topics.

 27 
Nicholas Ridley
(English Bishop Who Was Burned at the Stake for His Teachings and Support to Lady Jane Grey)
Nicholas Ridley
3
Birthdate: 1500 AD
Birthplace: South Tynedale, England
Died: October 16, 1555

English Protestant martyr and bishop Nicholas Ridley had an illustrious career as a scholar at Cambridge. Named a master of Pembroke Hall, he converted Cambridge into a Reformist seminary for Protestantism. He ended up being accused of heresy and was burned at the stake at Oxford, thus becoming one of the Oxford Martyrs.

 28 
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.

 29 
Rowan Douglas Williams
(104th Archbishop of Canterbury)
Rowan Douglas Williams
8
Birthdate: June 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales

Rowan Douglas Williams became the first archbishop of Canterbury who was not from the Church of England. The Welsh Anglican bishop has been quite liberal in his views on homosexuality. He has also taught theology courses at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and is a life peer.

 30 
Ronald Knox
(Author)
Ronald Knox
4
Birthdate: February 17, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kibworth, Leicestershire, England
Died: August 24, 1957
 31 
Matthew Parker
(Archbishop of Canterbury)
Matthew Parker
3
Birthdate: August 6, 1504
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: May 17, 1575

Anglican archbishop of Canterbury Matthew Parker had faced hostility under Roman Catholic queen Mary I’s reign but got his privileges back when Elizabeth I came to power. Among his many works was his own translation of the Bible. He had also been the vice chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

 32 
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.

 33 
E.B. Pusey
(Theologian)
E.B. Pusey
3
Birthdate: August 22, 1800
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pusey, England
Died: September 16, 1882
 34 
Jeremy Taylor
3
Birthdate: August 15, 1613
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Died: August 13, 1667
 35 
William Law
(Theologian)
William Law
3
Birthdate: 1686 AD
Birthplace: Kings Cliffe, United Kingdom
Died: April 9, 1761
 36 
Thomas Traherne
3
Birthdate: October 10, 1636
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hereford, England
Died: September 27, 1674
 37 
John Keble
3
Birthdate: April 25, 1792
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fairford, Gloucestershire, England
Died: March 29, 1866
 38 
George Kennedy Allen Bell
4
Birthdate: February 4, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hayling Island, England
Died: October 3, 1958
 39 
Adam Clarke
(Theologian)
Adam Clarke
3
Birthdate: 1762 AD
Birthplace: Moybeg Kirley
Died: August 16, 1832
Frederick William Faber
3
Birthdate: June 28, 1814
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Calverley, England
Died: November 26, 1863
 41 
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.

 42 
Richard Bentley
(Theologian)
Richard Bentley
2
Birthdate: January 27, 1662
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oulton, England
Died: July 14, 1742
 43 
Geza Vermes
(Academic)
Geza Vermes
2
Birthdate: June 22, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Makó, Hungary
Died: May 8, 2013
 44 
Henry More
(Philosopher)
Henry More
3
Birthdate: October 12, 1614
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England
Died: September 1, 1687
 45 
John Colet
(Renaissance Humanist)
John Colet
2
Birthdate: 1467
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
Died: September 10, 1519
 46 
Frederick Denison Maurice
3
Birthdate: August 29, 1805
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Normanston, England, United Kingdom
Died: April 1, 1872
 47 
William Bramwell Booth
2
Birthdate: March 8, 1856
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halifax, United Kingdom
Died: June 16, 1929
 48 
Richard Whately
(British Philosopher, Economist, Theologian and Former Archbishop of Dublin)
Richard Whately
2
Birthdate: February 1, 1787
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cavendish Square, London, England
Died: October 8, 1863

Richard Whately was an English logician, academic, rhetorician, economist, theologian, and philosopher. His influential work Elements of Logic, which popularized the study of logic in the United States of America and in Britain, inspired several logicians including Charles Sanders Peirce, who read the book when he was 12 years old.

 49 
Evangeline Booth
(British Theologian and the 4th General of The Salvation Army)
Evangeline Booth
2
Birthdate: December 25, 1865
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 17, 1950

Evangeline Booth is remembered as the first female general of the Salvation Army, founded by her parents, William Booth and Catherine Mumford. Her beauty and musical skills earned her the nickname White Angel of the Slums. Her efforts ranged from aiding unwed mothers and working women, to organizing fundraisers.

 50 
Brooke Foss Westcott
(British Bishop, Biblical Scholar and Theologian)
Brooke Foss Westcott
2
Birthdate: January 12, 1825
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Died: July 27, 1901

Apart from serving as the Bishop of Durham, Brooke Foss Westcott also established himself as a biblical scholar. A Trinity College alumnus, he later worked as a professor of divinity at Cambridge. His works include the iconic critical edition of the Greek New Testament he had penned with Fenton J.A. Hort.