James M. Gustafson grew up in what he has called "an immigrant sectarian community" in Michigan. He served in Burma and India during World War II and received a B.S. from Northwestern University (1948), a B.D. from the University of Chicago (1951), and a Ph.D. from Yale University (1955). After serving as a pastor of a Congregational church, he taught at Yale from 1955 to 1972 and at the University of Chicago Divinity School from 1972 to 1987. Since then he has been Henry R. Luce Professor of Humanities and Comparative Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. In his work, Ethics from a Theocentric Perspectiv (1981), Gustafson expresses his belief that the leitmotif of a theocentric ethics is that "we are to conduct life so as to relate all things in a manner appropriate to their relations to God." While his theological critics have argued that he pays more attention to philosophy, science, and experience than to Christian tradition, his philosophical critics might find that his religiosity escapes the standard criticisms of religious thought, for Gustafson takes modern science very seriously.