FARQUHAR, John Nicol

FARQUHAR, John Nicol. Aberdeen 6.4.1861 — Manchester 17.7.1929. British (Scottish) Missionary in India, a Scholar of Indian Religion. Son of George F., of Aberdeen. Apprenticed as draper, in 1882 entered Aberdeen grammar school, 1883 University of Aberdeen, from 1885 at Christ Church in Oxford (B.A. 1889). Student of Macdonell. M.A. 1895. Lay missionary of London Missionary Society in India in 1891-1923, worked long time as Secretary of Indian Y.M.C.A. in Calcutta. D.Litt. 1916 Oxford. In 1923 left India because of health problems. Wilde Lecturer in Comparative Religion at Manchester University in 1927-29 (but taught there as early as 1924). Married 1891 Euphemia Neil Miller Watson, one son, one daughter.

As a scholar Farquhar was learned and knew well his material, but also never forgot his missionary zeal, which occasionally led him to less convincing, intentional theories and conclusions. He knew well Bengali and Sanskrit.

Publications: Permanent Lessons of the Gita. Madras 1903, 2nd ed. 31 p. 1912; Gita and Gospel. Calcutta 1903, 3rd ed. 106 p. Madras 1917; much on Christian religion.

A Primer of Hinduism. L. 1911, 2nd rev. ed. 222 p. Oxford 1912.

The Crown of Hinduism. 468 p. L. 1913 (Christianity presented as the “fulfilment” of Hinduism).

Modern Religious Movements in India. 16+471 p. n.pl. 1915.

An Outline of Religious Literature of India. 28+451 p. L. 1920.

– “The Fighting Ascetics of India”, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 9, 1925, 431-452; “The organization of the Sannyasis of the Vedanta”, JRAS 1925, 479-486; other articles in E.R.E., etc.

– “The Apostle Thomas in North India”, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 10, 1926, 80-111; “The Apostle Thomas in South India”, Ibid. 11, 1927, 20-50.

Sources: Who Was Who 1929-40; www.bu.edu/missiology/missionary-biography/e-f/farquhar-john-nicol-1861-1929/ with photo, taken from Eric J. Sharpe, “Farquhar, John Nicol,” Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed. Gerald H. Anderson. New York 1998), 208; *E. J. Sharpe, J.N.F. A Memoir. Calcutta 1963; E. J. Sharpe, Not to Destroy but Fulfil: The Contribution of J.N.F. to Protestant Missionary Thought in India before 1914. Studia Missionalia Upsaliensia 5. U. 1965.; Wikipedia with photo.

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