Dr. John M. Shackleford '57 to present "Approaching God Through Science" Sept. 18

Fri, 09/05/2008 (All day)

Mobile, Ala. – Dr. John M. Shackleford will present “Approaching God Through Science” at the monthly lecture of the Christus Theological Institute at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 in Byrne Memorial Hall on the campus of Spring Hill College.

Given the loving, personal God of the Judeo-Christian tradition, it seems one must regard science as a gift of the Creator, rather than an intrinsic enemy of the same creative act. Shackleford argues that we should not view religious faith and scientific inquiry as competitors but rather as complementary ways to assist the human quest for knowledge. We would not exist were it not for the laws of physics and the unique biochemical makeup of the human body. Indeed, living organisms of any type are marvels of natural engineering. We are a work in progress, from the day we emerge from our mother’s womb until our last day on earth. And just as humans are a work in progress, so is the universe as a whole. Humankind must learn to cooperate in this great strategy of God. 

A 1957 graduate of Spring Hill College, Shackleford obtained a Ph.D. in anatomy from the University of Alabama Medical School in Birmingham. Following postdoctoral work in biophysics at the University of Arizona, he taught anatomy at the medical schools of the University of Alabama and the University of South Alabama for a period of 33 years.  At USA College of Medicine, he was chairman of anatomy and assistant dean of admissions. Shackleford is the author of more than 40 articles in medical and scientific journals, and in 1962, was visiting professor at the University of Oslo, Norway. 

Upon retirement from the University of South Alabama School of Medicine, he enrolled in the graduate theology program at Spring Hill College, and in 1992 was awarded a Master of Arts in Theology. Applying both his scientific background and his theological training, Shackleford is a frequent lecturer and teacher, and has written five books and several articles related to biblical studies, science and religion. His most recent book, “Faith Seeking Understanding: Approaching God Through Science,” was published by Paulist Press in 2007.

Christus Theological Institute, housed at Spring Hill College, was formed in 1989 and offers a unique opportunity for grass-roots ecumenism among Christians and churches of the Mobile Bay area.

Admission is free for Christus members and $2 for guests. Byrne Memorial Hall is located near the Old Shell Road entrance to the College. For more information about this lecture or the Christus Theological Institute, contact the Department of Theology at (251) 380-4660 or by e-mail at christus@shc.edu.