Elizabeth Anne Livingstone MBE (7 July 1929 – 1 January 2023), also known as E. A. Livingstone, was a distinguished English Anglican theologian with a specialization in patristics, the study of early Christian writings and doctrines.



Elizabeth Anne Livingstone held a Master of Arts degree from the prestigious University of Oxford and was awarded a Lambeth Doctorate of Divinity, showcasing her dedication to her theological studies and scholarship.[1]

Academic Work

Livingstone’s contributions to theological academia were remarkable. She co-edited, alongside Frank Leslie Cross, the inaugural edition of The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church in 1957. Following Cross’s passing in 1968, Livingstone assumed the role of editor for subsequent editions of this significant reference work.[2]

In addition to her work on The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Livingstone served as the editor of The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, further solidifying her role as a prominent figure in the field of Christian theology and church history.[3]

In the wake of Frank Leslie Cross’s demise, Livingstone took on the monumental task of organizing the Oxford International Conferences on Patristic Studies, which ran from 1969 to 1995. These conferences provided a platform for scholars and experts to delve into patristics, enriching the understanding of early Christian thought and writings. Moreover, she skillfully edited the conference proceedings, which were subsequently published under the title Studia Patristica.[2][3]

Livingstone’s exceptional editorial skills were evident in her efficient management of the conferences. Initially, she was supported by a committee of 26 scholars to aid her in the editorial work. However, her effectiveness soon became apparent, leading to a reduction in the number of scholars required for subsequent editions. In later conferences, there was no mention of the need for editorial assistants, a testament to her expertise and capabilities in the field.[4]

Personal Life and Passing

Elizabeth Anne Livingstone’s lifelong dedication to theological scholarship and patristics left an enduring legacy in the academic world. Tragically, she passed away on 1 January 2023, at the age of 93, leaving behind a profound impact on the study of early Christian history and theology.[5] Her contributions continue to be celebrated and appreciated by theologians, scholars, and enthusiasts worldwide.