Henry Cadbury

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Henry J. Cadbury
Henry Joel Cadbury sitting at a desk photo from AFSC archive.jpg
Born1 December 1883
Died9 October 1974
Alma materHaverford College
Harvard University
AwardsNobel Peace Prize (on behalf of the American Friends Service Committee)
Scientific career
FieldsNew Testament
History of Christianity
InstitutionsHaverford College
Andover Theological Seminary
Bryn Mawr College
Harvard Divinity School

Henry Joel Cadbury (December 1, 1883 – October 7, 1974) was an American biblical scholar, Quaker historian, writer, and non-profit administrator.


A graduate of Haverford College, Cadbury was a Quaker throughout his life, as well as an agnostic.[1] Forced out of his teaching position at Haverford for writing an anti-war letter to the Philadelphia Public Ledger, in 1918, he saw the experience as a milestone, leading him to larger service beyond his Orthodox Religious Society of Friends. He was offered a position in the Divinity School at Harvard University, from which he had received his Ph.D, but he first rejected its teacher's oath for reasons of conscience, the Quaker insistence on telling the truth, and as a form of social activism. He later accepted the Hollis Professorship of Divinity (1934–1954). He also was the director of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library (1938–1954), and chairman (1928–1934; 1944–1960) of the American Friends Service Committee, which he had helped found in 1917. He delivered the Nobel lecture on behalf of the AFSC when it, together with the British Friends Service Council, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends.

Controversial remarks[edit]

In 1934, Cadbury encouraged Jews to engage Nazis with good will, according to The New York Times, which characterized his stance as, "Good will, not hate or reprisals, will end, or offset, the evils of Hitler government's persecution of Jews."[2]

Select publications[edit]

  • The Style and Literary Method of Luke (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1919)
  • National Ideals in the Old Testament (New York: Scribner’s, 1920)
  • The Knowledge Claimed in Luke's Preface (The Expositor, 1922, p. 401-420)
  • The Making of Luke-Acts (New York: MacMillan, 1927)
  • The Peril of Modernizing Jesus (New York: MacMillan, 1937)
  • Jesus: What Manner of Man (New York: MacMillan, 1947)
  • George Fox's Book of Miracles (Cambridge, Massachusetts: University Press, 1948)
  • The Book of Acts in History (London: A. & C. Black, 1955)
  • The Eclipse of the Historical Jesus (Wallingford, Pa.: Pendle Hill, 1964)
  • John Woolman in England: A Documentary Supplement (London: Friends Historical Society, 1971)
  • Narrative Papers of George Fox (Richmond, Ind.: Friends United Press, 1972)

"Quakerism and Early Christianity" (George Allen & Unwin LTD: 1957)


  1. ^ "My Personal Religion", lecture given to Harvard divinity students in 1936.
  2. ^ "Urges Good Will By Jews For Nazis". The New York Times. New York City: New York Times Company. June 14, 1934. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  • Bacon, Margaret H., Let This Life Speak: The Legacy of Henry Joel Cadbury. U of Pennsylvania P, 1987. ISBN 0-8122-8045-8.

External links[edit]