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James Franklin Bethune-Baker
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Birth: Aug. 23, 1861
Metropolitan Borough of Birmingham
West Midlands, England
Death: Jan. 13, 1951
City of Cambridge
Cambridgeshire, England

Number #6 refers to "A Cambridge Necropolis" by Dr. Mark Goldie from March 2000 for Friends of The Parish of The Ascension Burial Ground, total 49

James Franklin Bethune-Baker was a theologian whose advocacy of a liberal interpretation of Christian doctrine placed him at odds with traditonalists. He was born 'Baker', the son of a Birmingham surgeon, and later added the name 'Bethune'. He was a cousin of Arthur Christopher Benson (also buried in the burial ground). After getting a First and a Third in Classics, he got a First in Divinity, graduating from Pembroke. A spell of school teaching was followed by ordination. He was elected a Fellow of Pembroke in 1891 and remained a Fellow for sixty years. He was also appointed Dean of Chapel, but in 1905 was not renewed because of complaints about his views on Biblical interpretation. He never again preached in chapel. He turned to scholarly writing on theology and on the early church heretics, his "Introduction to the Early History of Christian Doctrine" being especially successful. His books included "The Meaning of Homoousis in the Constantinopolitan Creed", "Nestorious and his Teaching", "The Miracle of Christianity", and "The Way of Modernism". He rejected literal belief in the Virgin birth and the Resurrection and took an evolutionary view of the incarnation. As a committed modernist he disturbed the orthodox, and the Bishop of Worcester forced him to resign as his examining chaplain. Bethune-Baker was Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity from 1911 to 1935, and was elected FBA in 1924. He edited "The Journal of Theological Studies" from 1903 to 1935, an arduous scholarly achievement. He had, wrote his memoirist. 'a strong, sometimes obstinate personality, and a satirical tongue which enjoyed opposition and in some induced alarm'. There is a drawing of him in the Cambridge Divinity Faculty.

Bethune-Baker died in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, on 13 January 1951; his burial service took place in Pembroke College Chapel on Wednesday January 17 1951 at 2.45 pm.

He was married to Ethel Bethune-Baker, born 1862; Arthur Bethune Baker was their son. Arthur was a contemporary of Charles Hamilton Sorley at Marlborough College, but he sadly died aged 16.

Baker [post Bethune-Baker], James Franklin.
Adm. pens. (age 20) at PEMBROKE, Oct. 6, 1881.
S. of Alfred, surgeon, F.R.C.S., of Edgbaston, Birmingham.
B. there Aug. 23, 1861.
Matric. Michs. 1881; Scholar; Prizeman; B.A. (Class.
Trip., 1st Class) 1884; Theolog.
Trip., Pt II, 1st Class, 1886; M.A. 1888; B.D. 1901; D.D. 1912.
Fellow, 1891.
Dean, 1891-1906.
Assumed the additional surname of Bethune, 1884.
Ord. deacon (Canterbury) 1888; priest, 1889.
Assistant Master at King Edward VI's School, Birmingham, and C. of St George's, Edgbaston, Warws., 1888-90.
Lady Margaret Preacher, 1917.
Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity, 1911-35; retired.
Lived sometime at Beudy Cil, Talsarnau, Merionethshire.
Returned to Cambridge, 1938.
Editor of the Journal of Theological Studies, 1903-35.
Married and had issue.
Of Chaucer Road, Cambridge, 1939.
Author, The Influence of War on Christianity; The Meaning of Homoousios in the Constantinopolitan Creed; Nestorius and his Teaching; The Faith of the Apostles' Creed; The Way of Modernism, The New View of Christianity, etc.
(Who's Who, 1938.) 
Family links: 
  Ethel Furneaux Jordan Bethune-Baker (1862 - 1949)
  Arthur Bethune-Baker*
*Calculated relationship
Note: Overgrown
Ascension Parish Burial Ground
City of Cambridge
Cambridgeshire, England
Plot: 4I30
Created by: Martin Douglas Packer
Record added: Sep 14, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97071999
James Franklin Bethune-Baker
Added by: Guy Goodrick
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- Martin Douglas Packer
 Added: May. 28, 2014

- Mike
 Added: Apr. 24, 2014

- Martin Douglas Packer
 Added: Dec. 14, 2012

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