Charles Adolphus Row

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Charles Adolphus Row
Born 1816
St John, Cornwall
Died 1896
Nationality British
Known for Preacher and moral philosopher

Charles Adolphus Row (1816–1896) was a British Christian preacher and moral philosopher.


Charles Adolphus Row was born in 1816.[1] He was the third son of William Row of St John, Cornwall. He attended Pembroke College, Oxford where he matriculated on 7 May 1834 at the age of 17. He was a scholar at Pembroke from 1834–38.[2] He obtained a B.A. on 29 November 1838 and an M.A. on 11 November 1841.[3]

From 1848–61 Row was headmaster of Royal Free Grammar School, Mansfield.[2] In 1870 the Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle noted that the Reverend C. A. Row was delivering a course of lectures in defence of the gospel at Cleveland Hall, Fitzroy square, London, the former secularist center.[4] In May 1874 he was appointed to the Prebend of Harleston in St Paul's Cathedral.[5]

Row delivered the Bampton Lectures at the University of Oxford in 1877. He took as his theme "Christian Evidences Viewed in Relation to Modern Thought." In his lectures he looked for a compromise between theologians who believed in the complete infallibility of the Bible and scientists who pointed out problems with a literal interpretation. He proposed an innovative solution, which he knew might seem daring to some of his audience since it allowed that the Bible might include errors of fact:[6]

If, for example, we assume that inspiration was not a general but a functional endowment, and consequently limited to subjects in which religion is directly involved, and that in those which stand outside it the writers of the different books in the bible were left to the free use of their ordinary faculties, a large number of the objections which are popularly urged against Revelation from the standpoint of physical science and modern criticism would become simply nugatory.[6]

Charles Adolphus Row died in 1896.[1]


Row was a prolific author. A sampling of his work: