Mcnair Lecture


The McNair lecture was established by the 1857 will of John Calvin McNair who asked that “the object of which lecture(s) shall be to show the mutual bearing of Science and Theology upon each other…”

Previous lecturers include Father Paul Mueller, Dr. Owen Gingerich, the Rev. Dr. Nancey Murphy, Dr. Robert J. Russell, Dr. Philip Clayton, Dr. Francisco Ayala, Dr. Marcelo Gleiser, Dr. Holmes Rolston III and Dr. Jennifer Wiseman.

The series was previously hosted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Recent speakers:

Dr. Raymond Barfield

Dr. Raymond Barfield joined the faculties of Duke’s Medical School and Divinity School in 2008. Barfield came from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where his research and practice focused on improving immune therapies for childhood cancer (including bone marrow transplantation and antibody therapy), and understanding the moral aspects of decision-making in medical research involving children. At Duke he has turned much of his effort towards bridging activities in theology and medicine. On the medical side of campus he continues to practice as a pediatric oncologist, and he directs the Pediatric Quality of Life/Palliative Care program, a program that combines medical care, education, and research to benefit children with complex, chronic, or potentially life-limiting disease. In the Divinity School he develops courses and programs that address topics at the intersection of theology, medicine, and culture. He also teaches courses in Christian philosophy. He has over ninety publications in medicine, philosophy, and poetry. His books include The Ancient Quarrel Between Poetry and Philosophy, a book-length collection of poetry called Life in the Blind Spot, and a novel published in the spring of 2015 called The Book of Colors.

To view Dr. Barfield’s lecture entitled “Telling Stories on the Threshold of Mystery: Illness, Suffering, and Dying in the Medical Age,” click here.


James H. Scatliff, MD

James H. Scatliff M.D. is the Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Radiology at the UNC School of Medicine. Celebrating fifty years as a physician in North Carolina, he claims, somewhat whimsically, to be the oldest living—and professionally active—radiologist. A native of Chicago, he earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at Northwestern University, spending his early career at Yale University. In 1966, he brought his family to Chapel Hill, to become the second Chairman of the Radiology Department.  During his tenure, he oversaw a medical revolution from the use of x-ray to such medical procedures as Ultrasound, Computed Tomography (CT), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). To honor this legacy, UNC Hospitals and the School of Medicine established and endowed a professorship and the Scatliff Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center.

Dr. Scatliff has made significant contributions as a researcher, mentor, and teacher. He has penned or co-authored nearly 100 refereed research publications, the most recent being one in 2014 about anatomists Andreas Vesalius and Thomas Willis in the American Journal of Neuroradiology. He has received three Professor of the Year Awards, the UNC Distinguished Faculty Award, and the Hyman L. Battle Distinguished Excellence in Teaching Award.

To view Dr. Scatliff’s lecture in its entirety visit our YouTube channel.


Dr. B. Andrew Lustig

Dr. B. Andrew Lustig is the Holmes Rolston III Professor of Religion and Science at Davidson College. Before teaching at Davidson, he served as director of Rice University’s Biotechnology, Religion, and Ethics Program; academic director at the Institute of Religion at the Texas Medical Center; member of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine; and staff ethicist for Governor Mario Cuomo’s New York State Task Force on Life and the Law. He is currently on the board of directors of the National Biomedical Research Foundation, the editorial board of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, and the editorial advisory board of Christian Bioethics. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, a M.A. from Princeton University, and a B.A. from the University of San Francisco.