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The Christian Physician: Thomas Browne And The Role Of Religion In Medical Practice

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Chapter Summary

This chapter asks what the relationship is between 'religio' and 'medici' in the writings of Thomas Browne, exploring the connection between his Christian beliefs and his understanding of medical vocation in both his printed and manuscript writings, from Religio Medici to the posthumously published work A Letter to a Friend (1690). It examines evidence of Browne?s reputation in the seventeenth century, and contends that he provided an influential example for those who wished to stress the religious and moral duties of the good physician. The publication of Religio Medici spawned a succession of imitators who adapted the work?s memorable title to match their own profession and status: Religio Laici, Religio Bibliopolae, Religio Jurisprudentis, Religio Militis.

Keywords: Christian beliefs; Religio Medici; Thomas Browne



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