Standard Article

Newbigin, Lesslie (1909–1998)

  1. Will Williams

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0984

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Williams, W. 2011. Newbigin, Lesslie (1909–1998). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Theologian, missionary, and ecumenist, Lesslie Newbigin was born on December 8, 1909 in Newcastle upon Tyne to Presbyterian parents. He entered Queens' College, Cambridge, in 1928 as an agnostic, but through the influence of the Student Christian Movement and his reading of William James' essay “The Will to Believe” (1896) Newbigin began to explore the Christian faith more seriously. In the summer of 1929, while working at a camp in South Wales that offered aid to unemployed miners, Newbigin had a vision of the cross embracing the whole world, which indelibly affected his theological and spiritual life from that time onward.


  • Newbigin, Lesslie (1909–1998);
  • theologian, missionary, and ecumenist;
  • united church of South India (CSI);
  • foolishness to the Greeks;
  • the gospel in a pluralist society