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Austin Farrer (1904–68)

Brian Hebblethwaite

Subject Religion » Christianity

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics theology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405135078.2009.00057.x


Austin Marsden Farrer was a philosophical and biblical theologian. Educated at St Paul's School, London and Balliol College, Oxford, Farrer trained for the priesthood at Cuddesdon and was ordained deacon in 1928 and priest in 1929. After serving a curacy at All Saints, Dewsbury in the diocese of Wakefield, he returned to Oxford in 1931 as chaplain and tutor in theology and philosophy at St Edmund Hall. During these next years he paid a number of visits to Germany and acquired a critical acquaintance with German theology. In Oxford, at this time, he also met his future wife, Katharine Newton, then studying Litterae Humaniores at St Anne's. In 1935 Farrer moved to Trinity College as chaplain and tutor. Two years later he and Katherine were married in the church at Ashwell of which her father was rector. In the same year Farrer was elected Fellow of Trinity, where he remained until 1960. During the 1940s and 1950s Farrer was a leading light in the “Metaphysicals,” a group of high Anglican philosophers and theologians that included Eric Mascall, Basil Mitchell, and John Lucas, who met regularly to discuss—and oppose—the anti-metaphysical bias of the current Oxford philosophy. In 1960 Farrer became Warden of Keble College. He died in office there in 1968. The way in which Farrer combined, in life as in thought, philosophical acuity, theological perspicuity, and spiritual insight greatly ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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