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March 11, 1944

In Divided and Distinguished Worlds: Religion and Rhetoric in the Writings of Sir Thomas Browne

JAMA. 1944;124(11):741. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850110065033

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Abstract

This essay is a careful analysis of the "Religio Medici" of Sir Thomas Browne. It was written by its author as an essay required of undergraduate candidates for honors degrees. He has made a thorough study of the work which was the favorite of Sir William Osler, and his analysis of the rhetoric and science shows extraordinary insight. Ziegler concludes that Sir Thomas Browne strictly divided the spheres of religion and science, as, incidentally, Pasteur did many years later. Of religion Browne demanded only imaginative satisfaction. His "Religio Medici," though it fails as a philosophy, is a magnificent demonstration of the use of language for emotional, intellectual and sensuous enjoyment.

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