Frederick Copleston SJ
Frederick Copleston SJ (1907-1994)

Frederick Copleston SJ

Frederick Copleston was born in Taunton on 10 April 1907 and educated at Marlborough College. In 1925 he was received into the Catholic Church at Devizes, going up to St. John’s College, Oxford to study Classics the same year. After leaving Oxford in 1929, Freddie entered the seminary at Oscott, but after a year he decided to enter the Jesuit novitiate in Roehampton. He was ordained at Heythrop in 1937, and completed his tertianship at Sentmaringer, Munster in 1938-1939.

In 1939 he returned to Heythrop to become a lecturer in History of Philosophy. He also lectured in Germany for the Foreign Office in 1948 and 1949 and spent half of each year at the Gregorian University in the years 1952-1968. In 1959 he completed a lecture tour for the British Council in Austria and Switzerland and for the Academicum Catholicum in Scandinavia. When Heythrop moved to London in 1970 he became its first Principal and Professor of the History of Philosophy. After retirement he continued writing and lecturing, and was awarded Honorary Degrees by the Universities of Uppsala and St. Andrew’s amongst others,  a Fellowship of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellowship of St. John’s College, Oxford and a CBE for services to philosophy. He died in February 1994.