Papers of John Macquarrie, 1919-2007, arts and divinity graduate, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • New Testament lecture notes, 1940-1941.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Macquarrie was born in Renfew on 27 June 1919  . His father, also John Macquarrie, was a patternmaker and an elder in the Presbyterian church. Prior to attending university, John was a student at Renfrew High School and Paisley Grammar School. John attended the University of Glasgow from 1936-1943, taking classes in Latin (Ordinary), Mathematics (Ordinary), English (Ordinary) in his first year; Logic (Ordinary) and Moral Philosophy (Ordinary) in his second; Logic (Higher), Moral Philosophy (Higher), Political Economics and Hebrew in his third, and Logic (Honours), Moral Philosophy (Honours) and Greek (Ordinary) in his fourth year. He was awarded first class certificates in Logic (Ordinary) and Moral Philosophy (Ordinary) in 1938; Logic (Higher) and Moral Philosophy (Higher) in 1939, and Logic (Honours) in 1940. He was also awarded a special prize for Latin Prose and a prize for general excellence in Latin (Ordinary) in 1937; the Buchanan prize for Logic (Ordinary) in 1938; first prize for Moral Philosophy (Higher) in 1939 and second prize in Moral Philosophy (Senior Honours). He graduated with a first class honours MA in Philosophy in June 1940  .

He returned the following year to study Divinity, taking classes in New Testament Language and Literature, Old Testament Language and Literature, Church History and Divinity in his fifth year; "Senior" Hebrew, New Testament Language and Literature, Church History and Divinity in his sixth year, and Systematic Theology II, Systematic Theology "Special" and Practical Theology in his seventh and final year. He was awarded first class certificates for Systematic Theology, New Testament Language and Literature and Ecclesiastical History in 1942, as well as prizes for Systematic Theology and New Testament Language and Literature. He also took postgraduate classes in French and Spanish in 1941-1942, Education in 1942-1943, and Zoology in 1943-1944.

After graduating with a BD in June 1943  , John initially served with the Royal Army Chaplain's Department in Egypt from 1945-1948 and then as minister of St Ninian's Church, Brechin, from 1948-1953. He was then appointed Lecturer of Theology at the University of Glasgow and Trinity College, Glasgow , from 1953-1962  and Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York, United States of America, from 1962-1970  . During that time John was awarded a PhD in November 1954  for his thesis The Influence of an Existentialist Philosophy upon Theological Thought: Illustrated from the Works of Martin Heidegger and Rudolf Bultmann and a DLitt in November 1964  for his thesis The Scope of Demythylogising and Twentieth Century Religious Thought from the University of Glasgow . In June 1969  John was also awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. In 1970  John was appointed Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford , a position which he held until his retirement in 1986. His publications include An Existentialist Theology (1955), The Scope of Demythologising (1960), Twentieth Century Religious Thought (1963), Principles of Christian Theology (1966), Christian Unity and Christian Diversity (1975), In Search of Humanity (1982), In Search of Deity (1984) and Jesus Christ in Modern Thought (1990). He died in Oxford on 28 May 2007  .


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Custodial History



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Related Material

John McQuarrie's papers are also held by the Bodleian Library Western Manuscripts department: GB 0161

Location of Originals

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Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names


Fonds level description compiled by Vikki Laidlaw, Hub Project Assistant, 07 April 2005. Lower level description compiled by members of Glasgow University Archive Service staff.

Geographical Names