Saturday, September 20, 2003


From 3-5 October 2003 the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences will hold a conference on The Past and Future of the Science-Religion Dialogue: Celebrating the Work of Ian G. Barbour.

The conference sessions deal with methodology; God and nature; theology and physics; theology and biology; ethics, technology and the environment; and perspectives from process theology, Roman Catholic theology and Buddhist thought. Presenters will explore a variety of theological visions of the field's wider dimensions and its frontier challenges. Each speaker will assess what has been accomplished in the past and help us envision what lies ahead as we look toward the coming decades in the light of the legacy of Ian G. Barbour.

Barbour earned a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Chicago, where he was a teaching assistant to Enrico Fermi, designer of the world's first atomic reactor. After teaching physics in Michigan Barbour embarked on a Ford Fellowship to study theology and ethics at Yale Divinity School. Moving to Carleton College in 1955, he created what is now the department of religion while teaching half time in the physics department. He began a lifetime of research and writing on science and religion, starting with the fundamental methodological issue: how do we relate fields as divergent as the natural sciences and religious thought?

He went on to explore the theological implications of physics, cosmology, evolution, anthropology and the neurosciences, as well as ethical issues concerning technology, human need and the environment. In 1999, Ian Barbour was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in recognition of his wide-reaching efforts to further the dialogue between science and religion. (c) CTNS

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