George Bethune English
Date of Birth : Mar 7, 1787
Date of Death : Sep 20, 1828
George Bethune English was an American adventurer, diplomat, & soldier.
The oldest of four children, English was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was baptized at Trinity Church on April 1, 1787. He later attended Harvard College, where his dissertation won a Bowdoin Prize. While initially studying law, he received a Masters in theology in 1811. Like many Protestant divinity students of the time he studied the Pentateuch; unlike the others he also studied the Quran. During these studies, English became disillusioned and encountered doubts about Christian theology; he went on to publish his misgivings in a book entitled The Grounds of Christianity Examined, which earned him excommunication from the Church of Christ in 1814, and many negative responses. English addressed some of the criticisms and controversies caused by his first book in a second tract, "A Letter to the Reverend Mr. Cary," as well as in published responses to Unitarian leader William Ellery Channing's Two Sermons on Infidelity. Another rejoinder to his first book from former Harvard colleague, Edward Everett, entitled A Defence of Christianity Against the Works of George B.