Robert Moberly (priest)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Robert Campbell Moberly (26 July 1845 – 8 June 1903) was an English theologian and the first Principal of St Stephen's House, Oxford (1876–1878).


He was the son of George Moberly, Bishop of Salisbury, and faithfully maintained the traditions of his father's teaching. His sister was the writer Charlotte Anne Moberly.[1] Educated at Twyford School, Winchester and New College, Oxford, he was appointed senior student of Christ Church in 1867 and tutor in 1869. In 1876 he went out with Bishop Copleston to Ceylon for six months.

After his return he became the first head of St Stephen's House, Oxford (1876–1878), and then, after presiding for two years over the Theological College at Salisbury, where he acted as his father's chaplain, he accepted the college living of Great Budworth in Cheshire in 1880, and the same year married Alice, the daughter of his father's predecessor, Walter Kerr Hamilton. In 1892, Lord Salisbury made him Regius Professor of Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford and a Canon of Christ Church Cathedral in that city.[2] He was appointed an Honorary Chaplain to Queen Victoria in July 1898,[3] and in early January 1901 was appointed Chaplain-in-Ordinary to Her Majesty.[4] The Queen died later that month, and Moberly was re-appointed Chaplain-in-Ordinary to her successor King Edward VII.

After a long period of delicate health he died at Christ Church. He was the father of Walter Hamilton Moberly and Robert Hamilton Moberly.


His chief writings were:

  • 1889: "The Incarnation as the Basis of Dogma", an essay in Lux Mundi
  • 1891: Belief in a Personal God, a paper
  • 1896: Reason and Religion, a protest against the limitation of the reason to the understanding
  • 1897: Ministerial Priesthood
  • 1901: Atonement and Personality. In this last work, by which he is chiefly known, he aimed at presenting an explanation and a vindication of the doctrine of the Atonement by the help of the conception of personality. Rejecting the retributive view of punishment, he describes the sufferings of Christ as those of the perfect "Penitent," and finds their expiatory value to lie in the Person of the Sufferer, the God-Man.
  • Undenominationalism (1902)


  1. ^ Howarth, Janet (2004), "Moberly, Charlotte Anne Elizabeth [Annie] (1846–1937)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.), Oxford University Press, retrieved 10 September 2015  (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  2. ^ "No. 26255". The London Gazette. 5 February 1892. p. 609. 
  3. ^ "No. 26987". The London Gazette. 15 July 1898. p. 4274. 
  4. ^ "No. 27263". The London Gazette. 4 January 1901. p. 81. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
New position
Principal of St Stephen's House, Oxford
Succeeded by