Inspiration for JRI is taken from John Ray (1627-1705), English naturalist, Christian theologian and first biological systematist of modern times, preceding Carl Linnaeus.
“His greatness is that in a time of transition and universal turmoil he saw the need for precise and ordered knowledge, set himself to test the old and explore the new, and by dint of immense labour in the field and in the study laid the foundations of modern science in many branches of zoology and botany… he did as much as any man of his time to develop a new understanding and interpretation of religion; more perhaps than any man he enabled the transition from the medieval to the modern outlook.”
Raven, Charles E. John Ray. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1942:12).
JRI Associate Professor Sam Berry, wrote a detailed account of John Ray and his importance for both science and theology. It can be found here.
Biographical details and a list of the works of John Ray are available on the Wikipedia page.