Friday, February 8, 2008

Pioneer of environmental ethics, Holmes Rolston III to highlight Religion and Science Conference, March 28-30

Holmes Rolston III, pioneer of environmental ethics, will be the featured speaker at the Eighth annual Goshen College Religion and Science Conference.

Dates and times: Friday, March 28 to Sunday, March 30
Location: Goshen College Church-Chapel
Cost: The two public lectures are free; participation in the full conference costs $180 (discounts available for students, retirees and members of the Midwest Religion and Science Society)
To register for the conference:

Full conference schedule:
riday, March 28
5 p.m. – Registration/Reception, College Mennonite Church (CMC) Fellowship Hall
6 p.m. – Dinner, CMC Fellowship Dining Hall
7:30 p.m. – Public lecture: “Generating Life on Earth: Five Looming Questions” by Holmes Rolston, Church-Chapel

Saturday, March 29
8 a.m. – Breakfast, CMC Fellowship Dining Hall
9 a.m. – Discussion with Professor Holmes Rolston and conference participants, CMC Fellowship Hall
10:30 a.m. – Public lecture: “Human Uniqueness: Spirited Mind” by Holmes Rolston, Church-Chapel
11:40 a.m. – Music, Church-Chapel
12 p.m. – Luncheon, CMC Fellowship Dining Hall
3:30 p.m. – Discussion with Professor Holmes Rolston and conference participants, CMC Fellowship Hall
4:30 p.m. – Vespers, CMC Fellowship Hall
5 p.m. – Dinner at Miller's Country Kitchen, an Amish home
7:30 p.m. – Open discussion among participants, Science Hall Room 107

Sunday, March 30
8 a.m. – Breakfast, Goshen College Dining Hall
9 a.m. – Worship, Science Hall Room 106
10 a.m. – Lecture: “Three Big Bangs,” by Professor Holmes Rolston, Science Hall Room 106
11 a.m. – Discussion with Professor Holmes Rolston and conference participants, Science Hall Room 106
12 p.m. – Luncheon, Goshen College Dining Hall
1 p.m. – Adjourn

GOSHEN, Ind. – At the eighth annual Goshen College Religion and Science Conference on March 28-30, the keynote speaker will be Holmes Rolston III, regarded as the pioneer of environmental ethics. Rolston will speak on “Generating Life on Earth: Five Looming Questions” on Friday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. and on “Human Uniqueness: Spirited Mind” on Saturday, March 29 at 10:30 a.m. in the Church-Chapel. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The annual Goshen Conference on Religion and Science is designed to provide maximum interaction with one of the principal thinkers in the dialogue between religion and science. A single invited speaker presents three lectures, two of which are open to the public. Small, moderated discussion sessions provide conference participants an opportunity to address topics from the lectures, and others, in conversation with the speaker.

Rolston, University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., was the 2003 winner of the Templeton Prize given by Prince Philip in Buckingham Palace which is the world’s most prestigious award in religion. This award recognized Rolston’s work on the intrinsic value of nature and on the relationship between science and religion. He is a past president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics.

Rolston received a divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., and a doctorate in theology from the University of Edinburgh. He also holds a master’s degree in philosophy of science from the University of Pittsburgh. 

While serving as a minister in the Appalachian Mountains of western Virginia, Rolston attended classes at East Tennessee State University, explored the biology, mineralogy and geology of the southern Appalachian Mountains, becoming a recognized naturalist and bryologist (the study of mosses). There he worked to conserve wildlife, preserve Mount Rogers and Roan Mountain, and to maintain and relocate the Appalachian Trail.

Rolston’s books have been acclaimed in professional journals and the national press. The more recent are: “Genes, Genesis and God” (Cambridge University Press, 1999), “Science and Religion: A Critical Survey” (Random House, McGraw Hill, Harcourt Brace, with a new edition, Templeton, 2006), “Philosophy Gone Wild” (Prometheus Books), “Environmental Ethics” (Temple University Press) and “Conserving Natural Value” (Columbia University Press). He was an editor of the Encyclopedia of Bioethics.

Past conference speakers have included Ted Peters, Philip Hefner, Robert Russell, John H. Haught, Antje Jackelen, George Ellis and Nancey Murphy. Conference participants include pastors and interested lay persons, as well as academic scientists, mathematicians, theologians and students.

For persons interested in participating in the full conference, information about registration can be found at, or contact Marilyn Bayak by e-mailing or calling (574) 535-7305. There are limited spaces available.

The full conference costs $180, though discounts are available for students, retirees and members of the Midwest Religion and Science Society. There will also be a dinner on Saturday evening in an Amish home which will be an additional $20.

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit

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Goshen College
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Goshen, Indiana 46526
phone: +1 (574) 535-7569
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