John Calvin McNair Lecture Series

10 September 2018, 12:14 pm Written by 
Published in Latest News

St. Andrews University announces the 13th annual John Calvin McNair Lecture Series for Science and Theology to be held Oct. 8 in the William Belk Center Carol Grotnes Belk Main Room with dinner at 6 p.m. and the lecture at 7 p.m.

This year’s speaker is Jeffery L. Deal, MD, the author of an anthropology book on South Sudan and four novels, and who recently retired from his position as Director of Health Studies for Water Missions International.  He is presently the Senior Fellow in Public Health for the College of Charleston and the Department of Health Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Deal is a member of the London International Development Centre, a Fellow in the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons.  He holds Board Certification in Tropical Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery in the US.  He is also a member of the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology.

A Land At the Centre of the World” (Markoulakis Publications), his ethnography of the Dinka Agaar of South Sudan, is now in its second edition with the third edition due out in late 2018.

In addition to writing fiction, his previous publications span the fields of microbiology, anthropology, global ethics, and surgery.  When not working in the field, he lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife of 41 years. 

Dr. Deal is keen to reflect on the ethical, social and theological critiques that inter-cultural work can bring to Western faith and medical commitments, particularly around treatment of body and soul, and the way various forms of Western “treatment” are challenged whey they encounter non-Western kinship.  His later work involves a deep wrestling with the philosophical and theological foundations of Western medicine from the vantage point of theological anthropology and ethics. 

He is an active member of a Baptist congregation in Charleston, SC, and he brings those commitments to bear on his work as a medical caregiver.

Dr. Deal’s topic is “What is a family?  Beyond Sex, Perspectives from South Sudan.”

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...”

The event is free but reservations are required and can be made at or 910.277.5025.

St. Andrews University is a branch of Webber International University located in Laurinburg, NC.  The University's mission is to offer students an array of business, liberal arts and sciences, and pre-professional programs of study that create a life transforming educational opportunity which is practical in its application, global in its scope, and multi-disciplinary in its general education core.—30—