Stokes: Victorian Britain's most important religious scientist?

Stuart Mathieson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sir George Gabriel Stokes is justly recognized for hissubstantial contributions to mathematics and physics,particularly optics and hydrodynamics. Yet Stokesalso had a particularly noteworthy involvement in thereligious life of Victorian Britain, and especially inthe relationship between science and religion. As anoutspoken evangelical, a prominent religious scientist,a lecturer on natural theology, and a lay writeron widely-debated theological topics such as eternalpunishment, Stokes made contributions unsurpassedby any of his contemporaries. However, these have often been overlooked. This article redresses this situation, by explaining Stokes’s religious life, hisinfluence on debates over science and religion, hisnatural theology, and his promotion of the doctrine ofconditional immortality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2174
Publication statusPublished - 08 Jun 2020


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