The following brief history of Theology at Cambridge is taken from a former Faculty webpage:
'Foundations: The University of Cambridge was founded in the early-thirteenth century by a group of scholars, including theologians, who had fled from Oxford. By the mid-1200s, the Franciscan and Dominican Friars had established the teaching of theology on a sound footing, providing the foundation for human understanding of the universe and the natural world.
Renaissance and reform: John Fisher was the leading figure in Cambridge theology at the beginning of the sixteenth century. He persuaded Lady Margaret Beaufort to make great gifts to the University (including the oldest Chair in the University, the Lady Margaret's Professorship in Divinity, founded in 1502). In 1511 he brought Erasmus of Rotterdam, one of the leading European scholars of his day, to pioneer the study of the Greek New Testament in Cambridge.
In turn Cambridge became a centre for the English Reformation through the influence of men like Thomas Cranmer (later Archbishop of Canterbury), Nicholas Ridley (later Bishop of London) and Miles Coverdale, who were largely responsible for the English Prayer Book and for important early English translations of the Bible. Martin Bucer, a leading continental reformer, was Regius Professor of Divinity, and worked in Cambridge until his death in 1551. In the second half of the century a strong reformed tradition developed, culminating in the liberal puritanism of the Cambridge Platonists in the early seventeenth century.
Anglican Cambridge: After the restoration of the monarchy and the Act of Uniformity of 1662, Cambridge became exclusively Anglican. Eminent figures in the eighteenth century included the 'heretics' who gathered around Isaac Newton, and Richard Bentley, whose classical scholarship laid the foundations of New Testament textual criticism.
In the nineteenth century, Cambridge developed one of the most eminent theology faculties in the world. Westcott and Hort provided a new authoritative text of the Greek New Testament, used for the Revised Version of the Bible in 1881, while Lightfoot's New Testament commentaries challenged the radical biblical criticism of German theologians. This Cambridge trio's interests extended to ecclesiastical history, religion and science, and the place of theology in the modern world.
In the twentieth century, those concerns have developed and multiplied in Cambridge. E.C. Hoskyns championed Karl Barth's 'theology of crisis' in the 1920s and 1930s. Charles Raven continued to probe the questions in religion and science left by Darwin, and his last sermon, 'Christ in the Laboratory', touched on relativity theory, DNA, and ecology. Michael Ramsey was Regius Professor before becoming Bishop of Durham, Archbishop of York, and one of the most distinguished Archbishops of Canterbury. Donald MacKinnon was perhaps the greatest British philosophical theologian of the twentieth century, not least because of his penetrating engagement with the intractable problems of tragedy and evil.
Other religious traditions: The Church of England could not contain the whole range of Cambridge theological opinion. The later seventeenth century saw a broadening of theological interest when the Sir Thomas Adams Professorship of Arabic was founded in 1666 to encourage study of the Middle East.
Rebellion against accepted thought was typified by William Whiston, who lost his Chair in 1710 for having Arian opinions, and by William Paley, who urged reform upon the eighteenth-century University and was the classic exponent of natural theology. Robert Hall, a Baptist minister in Cambridge at the end of the eighteenth century, was such a powerful preacher that the time of dinner in college halls was altered to prevent undergraduates hearing him. In the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin decided not to be ordained, and became an eminent naturalist, challenging traditional theological opinions by his theory of evolution.
Religious Tests at Cambridge were abolished in 1871, and in the more open atmosphere resulting, Cambridge provided a refuge for William Robertson Smith, when he lost his Chair in the Free Church of Scotland College in Aberdeen in 1881 for his radical views. St Edmund's House was founded in 1896 as a lodging house for Roman Catholic students. It became a base for senior Roman Catholic scholars in the University after the Second Vatican Council, subsequently evolving into a college in its own right. Later in the nineteenth century, Sanskrit and Jewish studies were established on a permanent basis.
When the modern organisation of the University was devised in 1926, posts in the study of non-Christian religions did not remain in the Divinity Faculty. But in 1970 the name of the course was changed to 'Theological and Religious Studies' and now Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism are all studied in their own right alongside Christianity within the Tripos. The modern Faculty is predominantly lay and includes members of most of the main Christian traditions, a Jewish rabbi and a Muslim.
Cambridge theology and the wider world: Cambridge has given several leaders to the modern missionary movement. Charles Simeon influenced his generation of students in the early nineteenth century, and David Livingstone's speech in the Senate House in 1857 was a challenge to those in the later Victorian period. Outstanding leadership in the Church overseas has come from Cambridge in the twentieth century, represented by such figures as Lesslie Newbigin, Max Warren, and Kenneth Cragg. The University's acquisition of the archives of the British and Foreign Bible Society and the Royal Commonwealth Library has secured unrivalled research resources in recent years.
The University has also provided a Christian voice on the modern industrial society and on the ethical dilemmas of contemporary society and international relations. F.D. Maurice was a leader of mid-Victorian Christian socialism and ended his career as a Professor at Cambridge. B.F. Westcott, when Bishop of Durham, brought the striking Durham miners and their employers together. Most recently, Donald Mackinnon, Norris-Hulse Professor from 1960 to 1978, was perhaps the greatest British philosophical theologian of the twentieth century, not least because of his penetrating engagement with the intractable problems of tragedy and evil.
Through its regular series of Open Lectures, the Faculty has stimulated widespread debate on contemporary religious issues.'
Surviving records document the full range of Faculty activity: governance; teaching and research, including papers relating to the D Society; outreach via Open Lectures; and maintenance of the Divinity Schools.
DIV 1-5 (except for 1/4 and 4/1) were transferred by Miss P. Dunstan of the Divinity Faculty in September 1996. DIV 1/4, 4/1 and 6-24 (now 24/2 part) were transferred by Dr P. Harland, Divinity Faculty Administrator, on 22 October 2008. DIV 24/1-3 were transferred by Professor S. Coakley, via P. Dunstan, on 30 November 2012. They are a permanent transfer to the University Archives.
Duplicates have been removed.