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The Past and Future of the Science-Religion Dialogue:
Celebrating the Work of Ian G. Barbour

October 3-5, 2003
Berkeley, CA

View photos from the conference

"Wissenschaft und Glaube"von Ian G. Barbour translated into German

Ian Barbour's pioneering writing in the 1960s and 1970s helped to create the field of science and religion, and his ongoing work over the past forty years has explored almost every aspect of it. On his eightieth birthday we will honor his contribution and look to the future of the dialogue.

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.

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.

"The mission of CTNS is to promote the creative mutual interaction between theology and the natural sciences. As a founding member of the Board of Directors, Ian Barbour has helped shape and guide this mission through our programs of research, teaching and public service over the 20 year history of the Center. It is a pleasure for all of us at CTNS, and especially for me personally, to honor both the life and scholarship of Ian Barbour, and to thank him for his vision for and support of CTNS" - Robert John Russell


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