Wales Philosophers and Theologians

Philosophers and theologians

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
philosopher, mathematician, logician. Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell was born in Trellech in 1872 and advanced to become one of the founders of analytic philosophy. He had aristocratic roots and studied at Cambridge. Russell advocated pacifism. He also wrote one of the most important works of his century on mathematical foundations – the “Principia Mathematica”. Co-authored by Alfred N. Whitehead. Russell, who taught in Cambridge, Beijing and Harvard, died in 1970 in Penrhyndeudraeth.

Dr. Rowan Williams (born 1950)
Archbishop of Canterbury. Williams was born in Swansea in 1950. He studied at Cambridge, Oxford and at Mirfield Theological College near Leeds. Williams became a deacon, priest, dean and chaplain before teaching as a professor of theology at Oxford. Appointments to bishop followed and finally in 2002 he followed the call to Archbishop of Canterbury.

Writer and poet

Roald Dahl (1916-1990)
The novelist and children’s book author Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff in 1916 to Norwegian parents. “The Gremlins” (1943) was his first children’s book and was later successfully made into a film, as was his second children’s book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. The master of black humor, who was awarded the Edgar Allan Poe Award and others, died in Great Missenden in 1990. He also left two autobiographies: “Boy – beautiful and terrible things from my childhood” and “On my own. My experiences abroad”.

Ken Follett (b. 1949)
Follett was born in Cardiff in 1949 to strictly religious parents and began reading at an early age. His best-known work is the history novel “Die Säulen der Erde” from 1990. The play was not only filmed, but also made into a game. The 1978 spy thriller “Die Nadel” made him internationally famous. The bestselling author, once a philosophy student at University College London, initially tried his hand at investigative journalism, but later gave up in order to devote time to his true talent.

Dick Francis (1920-2010)
Francis was born in Lawrenny in 1920 and wrote mainly crime novels. Since his father owned a racing stable, he was already a jockey in the saddle at the age of six. He even rode horse races for the Queen Mother for four years. His successful riding career with around 350 victories ended abruptly in 1956 after a fall. Due to the serious injuries he suffered, he had to give up riding and became a sports reporter for the London Sunday Express. In addition, a book by Francis appeared every year, which has received numerous awards. His works “A surefire thing” and “Original or Fake” were filmed. Francis died on Grand Cayman in 2010.

Dafydd ap Gwilym (approx. 1320-1350)
Dafydd ap Gwilym was born in Ceredigion around 1320 into a noble family and became the most famous poet in Wales. In his work, which mainly revolves around the theme of love, a lot of European influences can be seen. Gwilym is considered an innovator in Welsh poetry. His most popular piece is called “The Girls of Llanbadarn”. Gwilym died around 1350 and is said to have been a frequent traveler.

Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100-1154)
Geoffrey of Monmouth was born in Monmouth around 1100 and was a theologian, writer and historian. In his important work “Historia Regum Britanniae” he describes the story of the kings, including the life of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. He also wrote poems about the famous magician Merlin – King Arthur’s teacher. In 1152 Monmouth was appointed Bishop of Asaph in Wales. He died in Cardiff in 1154.

John Owen (1564-1622)
John Owen was born in Bettws Garmon in 1564 and studied in Oxford, among other places. He made a career primarily as an epigrammatist, especially with mocking epigrams about avarice, envy, arrogance and adultery. Owen has always criticized these vices heavily. His poetry also contributed to the cultivation of noble qualities in people, which he described with much praise. Owen had several patrons and was considered a Welsh bard. He died in London in 1622.

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)
Dylan Marlais Thomas was born in Swansea in 1914 and initially worked as a journalist. He later wrote poems, essays, scripts, autobiographical stories and his most important work, the play “Unter dem Milchwald”, which was awarded the Prix Italia as a radio play shortly after his death in 1954. His propensity for alcoholism did not detract from his literary success. The Welshman made his debut with “18 Poems” in 1934. Thomas died in New York City in 1953.

Dylan Thomas

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