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 Newton, 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 Arianism). 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 Josephus has been many times reprinted.

See his memoirs (3 vol., 1749–50).

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