PITTS THEOLOGY LIBRARY
ARCHIVES AND MANUSCRIPTS DEPT.
COLENSO, JOHN WILLIAM, 1814-1883.
John William Colenso letters, 1863-1864.
MANUSCRIPT NUMBER 294
EXTENT: .5 cubic ft. (1 legal archive box)
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CITATION: John William Colenso letters, MSS 294, Archives and
Manuscripts Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
John William Colenso, radical biblical critic and bishop in the Church
of England, was born in Cornwall on January 24, 1814. Although
mathematics was his first love, he was also taken with the study of
religion and soon joined the ministry. Named Bishop of Natal in
1853, he went to Africa, where the natives’ lives and questions
prompted him to take a more radical view of the Bible. As a
result of his revolutionary ideas, in 1863 he was excommunicated by
Bishop Gray in Capetown. Although this judgment was argued, the
issue was never completely settled. Colenso wrote several books
including Commentary of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, and The
Pentateuch and Book of Joshua Critically Examined, as well as a grammar
and dictionary of Zulu and a Zulu translation of the Prayer Book.
He died June 20, 1883.
Scope and Content Note
collection consists of two letters. The two letters were written
by Colenso during the controversy over his book about the
Pentateuch. One seems to be a response to a critique about his
work, while the other is a letter of brief thanks to Prof. DeMorgan.
Last Modified: 04/01/2005