Famous British Theologians

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

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite British Theologians

 1 John Wesley

John Wesley.
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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 Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon.
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Famous As: Baptist Preacher
Birthdate: June 19, 1834
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kelvedon, Essex, 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. 

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 3 William Penn

William Penn.
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Famous As: Founder of the Province of Pennsylvania
Birthdate: October 14, 1644
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 30, 1718

William Penn was a writer and one of the earliest members of the Quakers. He is credited with founding the Province of Pennsylvania. He also oversaw the planning and development of the city of Philadelphia. Penn has several universities and schools named in his honor, including the William Penn University in Iowa. 

 4 William Tyndale

William Tyndale.
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Famous As: Theologian
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.

 5 John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman.
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: February 21, 1801
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: City of London, England
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.

 6 John Wycliffe

John Wycliffe.
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Famous As: Philosopher, Theologian
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.

 7 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.

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 8 Thomas Cranmer

Thomas Cranmer.
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Famous As: First Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury
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.

 9 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.

 10 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.

 11 Roger Williams

Roger Williams.
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: December 21, 1603
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: 1683 AD

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. 

 12 William Booth

William Booth.
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Famous As: Founder of the Salvation Army, Preacher
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.

 13 Rowan Douglas Williams

Rowan Douglas Williams.
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: June 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Swansea, 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.

 14 N. T. Wright

N. T. Wright
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: December 1, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Morpeth, Northumberland, 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. 

 15 Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong
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Famous As: Theologian, Writer, University teacher
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.

 16 William Brewster

William Brewster
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Famous As: Preacher
Birthdate: 1568 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.

 17 Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor
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Famous As: Missionary
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.

 18 Isaac Watts

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

 19 Saint John Fisher

Saint John Fisher
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Famous As: English Priest
Birthdate: November 30, 1469
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beverley, England
Died: June 22, 1535

 20 Alcuin

Alcuin
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 0735 AD
Birthplace: York, Northumbria
Died: May 19, 0804

 21 Richard Hooker

Richard Hooker
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: March 25, 1554
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Heavitree, England
Died: November 3, 1600

 22 Oswald Chambers

Oswald Chambers
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Famous As: Author, Theologian
Birthdate: July 24, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Aberdeen
Died: November 15, 1917

 23 Richard Baxter

Richard Baxter
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Famous As: Poet
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.

 24 John Stott

John Stott
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: April 27, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 27, 2011

 25 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

 26 William Buckland

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

 27 Stephen Langton

Stephen Langton
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Famous As: Cardinal
Birthdate: 1150 AD
Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England
Died: July 9, 1228

Born to the lord of a Lincolnshire manor, Stephen Langton became a well-known scholar of theology in Paris. His election as the archbishop of Canterbury led to a major conflict between the Church and the royalty, eventually leading to the signing of the Magna Carta.

 28 William Barclay

William Barclay
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Famous As: Author,Theologian
Birthdate: December 5, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: January 24, 1978

 29 John Owen

John Owen
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 1616 AD
Birthplace: Stadhampton, Oxfordshire, England
Died: August 24, 1683

 30 Michael Ramsey

Michael Ramsey
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Famous As: Archbishop
Birthdate: November 14, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Died: April 23, 1988

Michael Ramsey was an English Anglican bishop, educator, theologian, and supporter of Christian unity. He is best remembered for serving as the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury. Also a life peer, Ramsey received several honors during his lifetime. He also held honorary degrees from several prestigious universities, including Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, Durham, Manchester, and Kent.

 31 Nicholas Ridley

Nicholas Ridley
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Famous As: Martyr
Birthdate: 1500 AD
Birthplace: South Tynedale, England
Died: October 16, 1555

 32 Edwin Abbott Abbott

Edwin Abbott Abbott
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Famous As: Theologian, Science fiction writer, Teacher, Writer, Novelist
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.

 33 Benjamin Jowett

Benjamin Jowett
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Famous As: Tutor
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.

 34 Catherine Booth

Catherine Booth
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Famous As: Religious leader
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.

 35 Ronald Knox

Ronald Knox
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: February 17, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kibworth, Leicestershire, England
Died: August 24, 1957

 36 Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy Taylor
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 15, 1613
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Died: August 13, 1667

 37 E.B. Pusey

E.B. Pusey
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: August 22, 1800
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pusey, England
Died: September 16, 1882

 38 George Kennedy Allen Bell

George Kennedy Allen Bell
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: February 4, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hayling Island, England
Died: October 3, 1958

 39 Thomas Traherne

Thomas Traherne
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 10, 1636
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hereford, England
Died: September 27, 1674

 40 Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 1762 AD
Birthplace: Moybeg Kirley
Died: August 16, 1832

 41 John Keble

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

 42 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.

 43 William Law

William Law
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: 1686 AD
Birthplace: Kings Cliffe, United Kingdom
Died: April 9, 1761

 44 Frederick William Faber

Frederick William Faber
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 28, 1814
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Calverley, England
Died: November 26, 1863

 45 Frederick Denison Maurice

Frederick Denison Maurice
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Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: August 29, 1805
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Normanston, England, United Kingdom
Died: April 1, 1872

 46 John Colet

John Colet.
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Famous As: Renaissance Humanist
Birthdate: December 31, 1467
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
Died: September 10, 1519

 47 Richard Bentley

Richard Bentley
2
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: January 27, 1662
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Oulton, England
Died: July 14, 1742

 48 Richard Rolle

Richard Rolle
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 1300 AD
Birthplace: Yorkshire, England
Died: September 29, 1349

Richard Rolle was an English mystic, hermit, and religious writer. According to scholarly research, Rolle's works were among the most read during the 15th century. He is credited with inspiring a flourishing cult, which was prevalent during the English Reformation. Richard Rolle is commemorated on 20 January in the Church of England.

 49 Geza Vermes

Geza Vermes
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Famous As: Academic
Birthdate: June 22, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Makó, Hungary
Died: May 8, 2013

 50 Henry More

Henry More
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 12, 1614
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England
Died: September 1, 1687