BIO. Bob Schneider

From: Robert Schneider (
Date: Thu Aug 01 2002 - 14:22:00 EDT

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    NAME: Robert James (Bob) Schneider

    AGE: 63

    VOCATION: teacher and writer


    In elementary school four wonderful teachers inspired me. My eighth & =
    ninth grade English teacher Miss June Roethke taught me how to use =
    language better than anyone else. After three years at Ft. Lauderdale =
    (FL) High School.:

           B.A., summa cum laude, University of the South: Classical =
    Languages, 1961.

           M.S.M., D.S.M. (Doctor Scientiarum Mediaevalium-Doctor of Medieval =
    Studies), University of Notre Dame: Medieval Latin literature; 13th c. =
    educational tractates, 1963, 1965.

    Sabbatical studies included reading in history of science at Indiana =

    with Ed Grant (medieval science) and Sam Westfall (scientific =
    revolution; Newton), 1976-77; reading on my own in evolution and =
    intelligent design, 2000. Also, four Templeton Science & Religion =
    Course Workshops, 1997-2000


           1965-1968: University of Southern California: classics

           1968-2001: Berea College: classics, general studies (included =
    senior seminar "Science and Faith"); now retired from full-time academic =

           2002 (fall): Lees-McRae College: visiting professor of religion =

    RELIGION: Christian. Member, Episcopal Church Committee on Science, =

    and Faith; chair, subcommittee on Creation.

    ORGANIZATIONS: ASA (Associate), IRAS, Society for Values in Higher =


           Wife (of five years this July 19) Maria Ruth Lichtmann; =
    stepdaughter Catherine, son-in-law Ben Wakeman, and grandsons Ian, 6 =
    (who loves to talk about God), and Dylan 20 months (who is not yet =
    talking). I gladly gave up bachelorhood at 58. I tell you, folks, it's =
    _never_ too late.


    I must flesh this out. I was a cradle Episcopalian who grew up in a =
    low-church parish. I loved Sunday worship and especially the Prayer =
    Book. In my teens we moved to another city and a high-church parish, and =
    I fell in love with smells and bells. In my youth I also fell in love =
    with science: our basement smelled of my chemistry set. H.S. and =
    college science courses introduced me to cosmology, chemistry, and =
    evolution; college Bible courses introduced me to the =
    historical-critical method. I experienced no conflict between my =
    Christian faith and evolution. I considered Anglican holy orders, but =
    ended up in college teaching; it proved to be the vocation God had =
    called me to.


           Good thing, too, because in my late twenties I left the church and =
    Christianity. I still believed there is a God, and was not hostile =
    toward religion. I lived out my vocation at Berea College in Kentucky, =
    a non-sectarian school dedicated to providing students from low-income =
    families in the Appalachian South with a virtually cost-free liberal =
    arts education. Besides classics and NT Greek I taught general studies =
    courses that included Christian doctrine and biblical texts; I loved =
    biblical literature. The GST courses allowed me to continue exploring =
    the history of science and contemporary theories.


           A crisis in my personal life that came to a head about 10 years =
    ago brought me back to faith. God responded twice. In the first, =
    during a moment of anguish over childhood wounds, I felt embraced by a =
    compassionate Presence that brought peace. The second, a numinous =
    moment, left me literally trembling with awe at the Power that animates =
    the universe. I recovered hope, discovered faith, and began to move to =
    the first stirrings of love. A need for a meditative spirituality in a =
    community led me to the Berea Friends Meeting, a wonderful group of =
    believers. About the same time I met Maria, a new faculty member, and =
    another of God's great gifts. After a year, I realized that I was =
    missing a sacramental spirituality, so I returned to the church of my =
    youth, and found I had come home. And when I began to read the Bible =
    spiritually again, I found in the person of Jesus, that very =
    compassionate love I had experienced from God, and so I committed myself =
    to follow Christ and become a worker in God's vineyard. Believe me, I =
    am still learning to water and prune.


           During my last five years at Berea I was able to combine love of =
    science with Christian faith in a senior seminar that explored critical =
    issues in science and religion. My students were predominantly =
    conservative and fundamentalist Christians, most of them creationists, a =
    couple of them "sons of Ham." In this I discovered my new ministry, to =
    help Christian people learn that there is no real conflict between =
    science rightly understood and Christian belief, which I now conduct =
    through the Episcopal Church committee, my writing, and teaching in =
    local venues. The need to learn to speak more effectively to =
    evangelical audiences, as I seek to do further in a set of essays on =
    science and religion that will appear on the Berea College web site, led =
    me to join the ASA and become acquainted with like-minded people who =
    could help this believer, whose perspectives are more catholic, to =
    understand and appreciate evangelical perspectives. I am grateful to =
    many contributing to this list and PSCF who have helped me to do so, and =
    whom I have come to admire and respect for their work and Christian =
    commitment. We share a common love of the sciences, and we toil side by =
    side in the same vineyard.


    Grace and peace,

    Bob Schneider

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