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 

Charles Spurgeon
6
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 
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.

 3 
George Whitefield
(Evangelist, Theologian)

George Whitefield
4
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 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 
John Henry Newman
(Theologian)

John Henry Newman
4
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 

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.

 7 
Roger Williams
(Theologian)

Roger Williams
4
Birthdate: December 12, 1603
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
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. 

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 8 
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.

 9 
John Wesley
(Cleric)

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.

 10 
N. T. Wright
(Theologian)

N. T. Wright
5
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. 

 11 
Saint John Fisher
(English Priest)

Saint John Fisher
3
Birthdate: November 30, 1469
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beverley, England
Died: June 22, 1535

 12 

William Brewster
4
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.

 13 
Karen Armstrong
(Theologian, Writer, University teacher)

Karen Armstrong
5
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.

 14 
Isaac Watts
(Theologian)

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

 15 
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.

 16 
Richard Hooker
(Theologian)

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

 17 
William Laud
(Archbishop of Canterbury (1633–1645))

William Laud
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1573
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Reading, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: January 10, 1645

 18 
Oswald Chambers
(Author, Theologian)

Oswald Chambers
3
Birthdate: July 24, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Aberdeen
Died: November 15, 1917

 19 
Alcuin
(Poet)

Alcuin
3
Birthdate: 0735 AD
Birthplace: York, Northumbria
Died: May 19, 0804

Eighth-century Anglo-Latin poet and cleric Alcuin served as the head of the Palatine school, established by Charlemagne. A significant figure of the Carolingian Renaissance, he introduced English learning methods into Frankish schools and reformed Roman Catholicism. He also wrote extensively on education, philosophy, and theology.

 20 
John Stott
(Theologian)

John Stott
3
Birthdate: April 27, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 27, 2011

 21 
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.

 22 
William Buckland
(Geologist)

William Buckland
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1784
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Axminster, Devon, England
Died: August 14, 1856

 23 
Bede
(Saint)

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.

 24 
William Paley
(Christian apologist, philosopher, and utilitarian)

William Paley
3
Birthdate: 0673 AD, 1743
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Peterborough, England
Died: May 25, 1805

 25 
William Barclay
(Author,Theologian)

William Barclay
4
Birthdate: December 5, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Scotland, United Kingdom
Died: January 24, 1978

 26 
John Owen
(Theologian)

John Owen
4
Birthdate: 1616 AD
Birthplace: Stadhampton, Oxfordshire, England
Died: August 24, 1683

 27 

Nicholas Ridley
3
Birthdate: 1500 AD
Birthplace: South Tynedale, England
Died: October 16, 1555

 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
6
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.

 30 

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.

 31 
Ronald Knox
(Author)

Ronald Knox
4
Birthdate: February 17, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kibworth, Leicestershire, England
Died: August 24, 1957

 32 

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.

 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 

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

 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 
William Law
(Theologian)

William Law
3
Birthdate: 1686 AD
Birthplace: Kings Cliffe, United Kingdom
Died: April 9, 1761

 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 

Frederick Denison Maurice
2
Birthdate: August 29, 1805
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Normanston, England, United Kingdom
Died: April 1, 1872

 42 
Geza Vermes
(Academic)

Geza Vermes
2
Birthdate: June 22, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Makó, Hungary
Died: May 8, 2013

 43 
John Colet
(Renaissance Humanist)

John Colet
2
Birthdate: June 22, 1924, 1467
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
Died: September 10, 1519

 44 
Henry More
(Philosopher)

Henry More
3
Birthdate: October 12, 1614
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England
Died: September 1, 1687

 45 
Richard Bentley
(Theologian)

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

 46 

William Bramwell Booth
2
Birthdate: March 8, 1856
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halifax, United Kingdom
Died: June 16, 1929

 47 
Stephen Langton
(Cardinal)

Stephen Langton
3
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.

 48 
William Prout
(Chemist)

William Prout
2
Birthdate: January 15, 1785
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Horton, England
Died: April 9, 1850

 49 
Alexander of Hales
(Theologian)

Alexander of Hales
2
Birthdate: 1185 AD
Birthplace: Halesowen, England
Died: August 21, 1245

 50 
Arthur Peacocke
(Theologian and Biochemist)

Arthur Peacocke
2
Birthdate: November 29, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Watford, England, United Kingdom
Died: October 21, 2006