Whiston, William

Whiston, William,

1667–1752, English clergyman and mathematician. He won favor through his New Theory of the Earth (1696) and in 1701 was made deputy to Sir Isaac NewtonNewton, Sir Isaac,
1642–1727, English mathematician and natural philosopher (physicist), who is considered by many the greatest scientist that ever lived. Early Life and Work
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, whom he succeeded (1703) as Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge. Well-known as a preacher, Whiston aroused opposition by proclaiming his opinion that the faith of the early Christian centuries was Arian (see ArianismArianism
, Christian heresy founded by Arius in the 4th cent. It was one of the most widespread and divisive heresies in the history of Christianity. As a priest in Alexandria, Arius taught (c.
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). In 1710 he was dismissed from the university for heresy. He propounded his Arian views in Primitive Christianity Revived (5 vol., 1711–12), lectured on scientific and religious subjects in London and elsewhere, and continued his scientific experiments. His translation (1737) of the writings of JosephusJosephus, Flavius
, A.D. 37–c.A.D. 100, Jewish historian and soldier, b. Jerusalem. Josephus' historical works are among the most valuable sources for the study of early Judaism and early Christianity.
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 has been many times reprinted.

Bibliography

See his memoirs (3 vol., 1749–50).

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