April 1961

William Osler's Religion

Author Affiliations

The Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore 5, Md.

From the Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(4):475-479. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620040001001

William Osler was a man whom few have equalled in excellence as a clinician or in the appeal of his personality to laymen and to members of his profession alike. Doubtless these achievements can be ascribed to no single element in his environment, education, or personality. It is my purpose to present briefly information on his religious background and opinions which may have contributed to his development.

Frequently, a concern to clarify one's own philosophy leads to consideration of the philosophy of those whom one respects. In particular, the character of Osler's religious views can be considered to have contemporary application today. Although he was born 75 years before many of us, I believe that the succession of influences to which he was exposed are similar to those encountered today by those physicians reared in homes where there was exposure to doctrines of traditional Christian religion.

One who attempts to

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