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James Rendel Harris

1852-1941. Biblical scholar and Orientalist. Born in Plymouth, he was educated at Clare College, Cambridge, and taught mathematics at the university until 1882, when he migrated to the USA and taught at Johns Hopkins University. After denouncing vivisection, he was compelled to leave. He then joined the staff of Haverford College in Pennsylvania. On returning to England he gained the reputation of a brilliant but unorthodox scholar who specialized in textual problems. His final post was that of curator of MSS at the John Rylands Library, Manchester. He edited and published many ancient texts, but is best known for his discovery in 1889 of the long lost Apology of Aristides (published in 1891). In early life Harris was a Congregationalist, but in 1880 he joined the Society of Friends. In 1896 he organized relief for Armenians at the time of the massacres. Throughout his life his work output was enormous. Theologically he was a “liberal” Christian, scornful of “fundamentalism.”