Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare

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Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare
File:Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare.jpg
Born (1856-09-14)14 September 1856
Coulsdon, Surrey
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Occupation Orientalist, theologian, writer

Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare, FBA, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , (14 September 1856 – 9 January 1924) was a British orientalist, Fellow of University College, Oxford, and Professor of Theology at the University of Oxford.


Conybeare was born in Coulsdon, Surrey, the third son of a barrister, John Charles Conybeare, and grandson of the geologist William Daniel Conybeare.[1] He took an interest in the Order of Corporate Reunion, an Old Catholic organisation, becoming a Bishop in it in 1894. Also in the 1890s he wrote a book on the Dreyfus case, as a Dreyfusard, and translated the Testament of Solomon and other early Christian texts. As well, he did influential work on Barlaam and Josaphat. He was an authority on the Armenian Church.[2]

From 1904 to 1915 he was a member of the Rationalist Press Association, founded in 1899.

One of his best-known works is Myth, Magic, and Morals from 1909, later reissued under the title The Origins of Christianity. This has been read both as strong criticism of the Jesus myth theory, making Conybeare a supporter of the historical Jesus; but also as an attack on aspects of orthodox Christianity itself. He returned later in 1914 to make a direct assault on leading proponents of the time of the Jesus-myth theory.

He died in 1924 aged 68 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.[3]

His wife Mary Emily was a translator of Wilhelm Scherer.

See also





  1. D. S. Margoliouth, revised by Roger T. Stearn (2015). "Conybeare, Frederick Cornwallis (1856–1924)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  2. Bibliothèque nationale de France {BnF Data}. "Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare (1856-1924)".
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