Caldwell, N.J., March 7, 2019 – Dr. Anton M. Koekemoer, research astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, will speak on “Science and Faith in Harmony: The Heavens Declare the Glory of God” at Caldwell University’s third annual Research and Creative Arts Day noon, Wednesday, April 24, in the Doris M. Byrne Performing Arts Center located in Rosary Hall/Administration Building. It is free and open to the public.
The event will be part of the university’s “Year with The Saint John’s Bible.” The sacred art is the first handwritten, illuminated Bible of monumental scale in 500 years.
Dr. Koekemoer has carried out scientific research with the Hubble Space Telescope for over 20 years with a focus on distant galaxies and black holes.
Modern astronomical discoveries reveal ever more amazing views of the universe, including beautiful glowing gas clouds, majestic star clusters, countless galaxies and the most distant objects known, and Dr. Koekemoer will present a journey of exploration through the cosmos, highlighting exciting astronomical discoveries and images from the Hubble Space Telescope that inspired beautiful artwork in The Saint John’s Bible.
The sense of awe and wonder expressed by ancient writers of Scripture—for example the psalmist, who exclaims “The heavens declare the glory of God”—grows even more when viewing the universe with modern telescopes, explains Dr. Koekemoer. While science focuses on physical processes observed in the universe, deeper questions about the significance and meaning of existence, and other topics of faith, may be considered from the perspective of religion. In addition to presenting the latest astronomical discoveries, Dr. Koekemoer will share personal reflections, from his perspective as a research scientist who is also a Christian, on how scientific viewpoints can be reconciled with religion for anyone of faith for deeper spiritual growth.
Dr. Koekemoer holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the Australian National University, has held research positions at Leiden University, the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and has led the imaging work for the Hubble Ultra Deep Field and other large cosmological projects. He participates in the dialogue between science and faith in numerous ways, including serving as an advisor to seminaries that are interested in integrating science more fully, and other efforts aimed at positive interactions between science and religion.
The Bible was commissioned by Benedictine Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and the creative director was Donald Jackson, senior scribe to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Crown Office.
Jackson and six calligraphers hand wrote all 1,150 pages on approximately 300 sheets of calfskin vellum with more than 160 major illuminations. The work was done at a scriptorium in Wales. A Jewish scribe drew the Hebrew script. The translation of the Bible is the New Revised Standard Version.
Caldwell has the Heritage Edition of the Gospels and Acts for the calendar year 2019. It is the only full-size limited, signed and numbered fine art edition that will ever be produced. Each volume includes Jackson’s signature as its certificate of authenticity.
About Research and Creative Arts Day
The third annual Research and Creative Arts Day at Caldwell University provides undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, faculty and staff the opportunity to showcase their creative work, projects, papers, or research. This year’s theme is “Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Dei,” –“That in all things God may be glorified (1 Peter 4:11).