Watson, Dr Philip Saville
1909-1983; e.m. 1936

Theologian, born on 15 October 1909 at Bradford. Together with E.Gordon Rupp, he was a key figure in the renaissance of Luther studies in England. Educated at Durham and Wesley House, Cambridge, he also did post-graduate work in Tubingen and Lund, where he profited from developments in Luther studies. From 1946 to 1955 he taught Theology at Handsworth College, where he was Principal from 1951, and after four years at Wesley House, Cambridge 1955-1959, became Professor of Systematic Theology at Garrett Theological Seminary, Evanston, 1959-1973. His Let God be God (the Fernley-Hartley Lecture of 1947) offering a splendidly lucid introduction to Luther's teaching. He also published The Concept of Grace (1959). In America his academic focus switched to Methodist theology and the long introduction to his 'reader of instruction and devotion' The Message of the Wesleys (1964) was designed to present their teaching 'without myth'. He died suddenly on 8 June 1983.

  • Methodist Recorder, 30 June 1983