Charles Woodruff Shields

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Charles Woodruff Shields, DD (1825, New Albany, Indiana – 1904) was an American theologian. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) in 1844 and at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1847.

After holding two pastorates he returned (1866) to Princeton College to take up the position of professor of the harmony of science and revealed religion, which had been established for him. In 1898 he took orders in the Episcopal church, but retained his chair till his death.

In 1861 he produced an essay entitled Philosophia Ultima. This was in effect a manifesto for a grand unity of academic disciplines, setting forth a scheme of scholarship which should fully reconcile science and Christian religion, which he considered the academic culture of the United States uniquely qualified to advance.

His studies at Princeton resulted in the expansion of this essay into The Final Philosophy, or system of perfectible knowledge issuing from the harmony of science and religion (1877), and eventually in Philosophia Ultima (three volumes, 1888–1905), with a memoir by William Milligan Sloane.

He also published:

  • The Book of Common Prayer as Amended by the Presbyterian Divines of 1661 (1864; second edition, 1883)
  • The Order of the Sciences (1882)
  • The Scientific Evidences of Revealed Religion (1900), Paddock lectures.

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