This original and perceptive study of the writings of the great seventeenth-century author of Religio Medici offers the general reader a view of the intellectual world of Browne’s time, and for the special student of the period provides a more extended exploration of Browne’s religious philosophy than has previously been available. Mr. Dunn recognizes that Browne is primarily an artist and that his books must not be forced into the framework of any mere logical system. But although Browne is only secondarily a philosopher, the acknowledged greatness of his writing is due in part to the brilliance and power of his thought. Accordingly, his philosophy is here examined seriously and shown in its relations to the main intellectual currents of his time. Mr. Dunn, because he combines an appreciation of Browne’s poetic and imaginative power with an informed insight into its philosophical basis, can be recommended as the ideal critic of this compelling literary figure. Browne’s books emerge form this study as more than the charming haunt of the antiquarian and esthete. At one of the most dramatic moments of European cultural history -- the point of transition between the decaying tradition of the Middle Ages and the opening phase of modern science -- they nobly express a great humanist’s convictions about the meaning of the universe and of human life. The present volume is a complete revision of a work published in 1926 and long out of print.
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