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Andrew Martin Fairbairn

1838-1912. Congregationalist divine. Born at Inverkeithing, Scotland, of Covenanting stock, he had little regular schooling and was earning his living before he was ten. In his spare time he read omnivorously and eventually studied at Edinburgh University. He entered the Evangelical Union* theological college in Edinburgh in 1857 and thereafter ministered at Bathgate and Aberdeen before becoming principal of Airedale Theological College in 1877. Nine years later he transferred to Mansfield College, Oxford, of which he was the first principal-a post he held for twenty-three years. An original and refreshing teacher whose theological liberalism reflected the views of German scholars, Fairbairn was much in demand as preacher and lecturer, and paid several visits to the USA. His writings include Studies in the Philosophy of Religion and History (1876); Studies in the Life of Christ (1880); Christ in Modern Theology (1893); and The Philosophy of the Christian Religion (1902). He was active also in religious and political controversy, notably in connection with the significant Education Act of 1902, and helped develop theological education in English nonconformity.