The English Parson-naturalist: A Companionship Between Science and Religion
Since the time of William Turner (c 1508-1568) the figure of the parson-naturalist has been conspicuous int he English Church and in English science. Clergy have made a formidable contribution to natural history in England. Gilbert White (1720-1793), the author of The Natural History of Selborne, is perhaps the best known of this distinguished company, but other notables include John Ray (1627-1705) with whom, it has been said, "the adventure of modern science begins." The brightness of the reputation of these individuals should not blind us to that great host of other luminaries who have made English natural history what it is today. There have been botanists and ornithologists, geologists and entomologists; clerical naturalists have included specialists on mollusks, sponges, fish, orchids, seaweeds and lichens.
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