Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare

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Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare
Born(1856-09-14)14 September 1856
Coulsdon, Surrey
Died9 January 1924(1924-01-09) (aged 67)
Occupation(s)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 organization, 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 a 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.

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  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)".
  3. ^ "Residents of Brompton Cemetery". Brompton Cemetery. Archived from the original on 14 July 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2008.

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