Evander Bradley McGilvary
1864 – 1953
Who was Evander Bradley McGilvary?
Evander Bradley McGilvary Ph.D. was an American philosophical scholar, born in Bangkok to American Presbyterian missionaries, the Rev. Daniel McGilvary and Mrs. Sophia McGilvary. He came to the United States to study, graduating from Davidson College in 1884 and from Princeton University in 1888. In 1891, he returned to northern Thailand to join his parents in the Laos Mission of the Presbyterian Church USA. Although assigned to translate the Bible into northern Thai, McGilvary was soon embroiled in a denominational controversy over biblical inerrancy. In the wake of the 1893 heresy trial of Charles Augustus Briggs, whose views on Scripture he agreed with, McGilvary resigned from the Laos Mission in 1894 and returned to the United States. For five years, he taught at the University of California where he received the degree of Ph.D. in 1897.
His exploits included a fellowship at Princeton Theological Seminary; the translation into northern Thai of Matthew, Luke, John, and the Acts of the Apostles; serving as Sage professor of ethics at Cornell University in 1899; serving as professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison; being president of the Western Philosophical Society in 1910-1911; and serving as president of the American Philosophical Association in 1912-1913.
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