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March 3, 1951

Sir Thomas Browne: A Doctor's Life of Science and Faith

JAMA. 1951;145(9):683-684. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920270077033

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Sir Thomas Browne practiced medicine in Norwich, England, 300 years ago, during the time of Cromwell and Charles II. Browne, who had been left a comfortable fortune by his father, attended Oxford, then traveled widely and studied on the Continent. He became a successful practitioner and a respected member of the community. In the highly charged atmosphere of religious differences of his time, the handsome and cultured young physician wrote a small book, which almost immediately became a sensation and even today appears on many lists of great books. First published in 1642, "Religio Medici" has been reprinted again and again. Basically a plea for religious tolerance, it grapples with the conflicting claims of the science that would explain away the mystery of the created universe and of the false theology that would deny man's right to honor his Creator by exploring his handiwork. In this book, Browne speaks to

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