Joseph Estlin Carpenter

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Joseph Estlin Carpenter
Joseph Estlin Carpenter.png
Born5 October 1844
Died2 June 1927 (1927-06-03) (aged 82)
OccupationUnitarian minister, writer

Joseph Estlin Carpenter (5 October 1844 – 2 June 1927) was a Unitarian minister, the principal of Manchester College, Oxford.[1][2] He was an expert in Sanskrit and a pioneer in the study of comparative religion.[3]


Carpenter was born in Ripley, Surrey.[4] He was the second son of William Benjamin Carpenter.[5] His grandfather was Unitarian minister Lant Carpenter.[6]

Carpenter was educated at University College School, London, and the University of London, where he read mental and moral philosophy.[1] He was minister of Oakfield Road Church in Clifton (1866-1869) and Mill Hill Chapel in Leeds (1869-1875).[4]

He was described in the Encyclopedia Americana as an important "Sanskrit scholar and Biblical critic".[4] He was Professor of ecclesiastical history at Manchester College, Oxford.[7]

He wrote a biography of his aunt Mary Carpenter, the prolific social reformer and educationalist. In his book The Historical Jesus and the Theological Christ (1911) he defended the historicity of Jesus and criticized the claims of Christ myth theory proponents such as Arthur Drews. Congregationalist Reginald John Campbell wrote that the book contains a "temperate and scholarly criticism of the Christ Myth theories."[8]

In 1878, he married Alice Mary Buckton (1854–1931); the couple had no children.[2]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ a b Estlin Carpenter. The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b Long, A.J. "Carpenter, (Joseph) Estlin (1844–1927), Unitarian minister and college head". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32303. (subscription required)
  3. ^ Godfrey, Peter B. (2001). British Involvement in the International Association for Religious Freedom. In Centennial Reflections: International Association for Religious Freedom, 1900-2000. Van Gorcum: The International Association for Religious Freedom. p. 52. ISBN 90-232-3685-8
  4. ^ a b c Rines, George Edwin; Beach, Frederick Converse. (1905). Carpenter, Joseph Estlin. In The Encyclopedia Americana: A Universal Reference Library. Volume 3. Scientific American Compiling Department.
  5. ^ Flanagan, Neil A. (1988). Biographical Register 1880-1974. Corpus Christi College. p. 173
  6. ^ Chakravarty, Bikash. (1998). Poets to a Poet, 1912-1940. Visva-Bharati. p. 70
  7. ^ Kellogg, Day Otis; Smith, William Robertson. (1902). The Encyclopedia Britannica. Volume 26. Werner. p. 69
  8. ^ Campbell, Reginald John. (1921). The Life of Christ. D. Appleton & Company. p. 26

External links[edit]