F.C. Conybeare

British theologian


September 14, 1856
January 9, 1924
Related topics
Apollonius,--of Tyana, Church history, Church history--Primitive and early church, Christian sects, Criticism, interpretation, etc.,


Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare was a British orientalist, Fellow of University College, Oxford, and Professor of Theology at the University of Oxford. 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.

He from 1904 to 1915 was a member of the Rationalist Press Association of freethinkers, founded in 1899. These multiple associations make his position on Christianity harder to discern.

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 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 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London. His wife Mary Emily was a translator of Wilhelm Scherer. The distinguished physician Sir John Josias Conybeare (1888-1967) was his son.

Influence of F.C. Conybeare

Works published by F.C. Conybeare

Works published about F.C. Conybeare

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