Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Philip Hefner to highlight Goshen College Religion and Science Conference March 24-26;
Lectures free and open to the public

Lectures: Philip Hefner, editor-in-chief of “Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science”
Dates and times: Friday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 25 at 10:30 a.m.
Location: Goshen College Church-Chapel
Cost: Free and open to the public
Web site:

GOSHEN, Ind. – At the sixth annual Goshen College Religion and Science Conference on March 24-26, Philip Hefner, professor emeritus of systematic theology of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and editor-in-chief of “Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science,” will be welcomed as the keynote speaker during lectures on Friday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 25 at 10:30 a.m. in the Church-Chapel. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Hefner is also a senior fellow at the Zygon Center for Religion and Science and an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He was director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science from 1988 until May 2003.

A selective list of Hefner’s awards include the Susan Colver Rosenberg Award for Original Research from the University of Chicago, the Russell Fellow from the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, the Academic Fellow from the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science and Lifetime Service Award from the Center for Advanced Studies in Religion and Science (CASIRAS), 2001.

Hefner has spent his career teaching in Lutheran seminaries, in Springfield, Ohio, Gettysburg, Pa., and in Hyde Park, Chicago. In his teaching he has balanced a concern for the theology of the Christian tradition, with attention to contemporary culture, particularly the arts and the natural sciences. His first serious attention to religion-and-science issues began in 1962, just after receiving his doctorate, when he was invited to lecture on the subject. This led to more study, the establishment of a faculty dialogue group at Wittenberg University (Ohio), where he was teaching, and in 1967 to a 35-year association with Ralph Wendell Burhoe, the founder of “Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science,” co-founder of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science, and recipient of the 1980 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

Hefner has authored eight books and more than 150 scholarly articles, about half of which deal with religion and the natural sciences. His books include “The Human Factor: Evolution, Culture, Religion” (Fortress Press, 1993) and “Technology and Human Becoming” (Fortress Press, 2003).

Hefner has held more than 50 visiting teaching and lecturing appointments at seminaries, colleges and universities in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia. He has also represented his church on a number of ecumenical commissions, including, most recently, the dialogue commission between the Lutheran World Federation and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and as a member of the U.S.A. Lutheran-Reformed Coordinating Committee. As the first senior fellow appointed by the Metanexus Institute, he delivered six lectures in 2003-04 at the University of Pennsylvania and organized a one-day program on “Science and Spirituality” at the Parliament of the World Religions, in Barcelona in July 2004.


The annual Goshen Conference on Religion and Science is designed to provide maximum interaction with one of the principal thinkers in the dialog 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. Past conference speakers have included Robert Russell, John H. Haught, Antje Jackelen, George Ellis and Nancey Murphy.


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 four-year 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

Goshen College
1700 S Main St
Goshen, Indiana 46526
phone: +1 (574) 535-7569
fax: 535-7660