Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science

March 1995 Editorial

[Zygon, vol. 30, no. 1 (March 1995).]
© 1995 by the Joint Publication Board of Zygon. ISSN: 0591-2385
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00046.x

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The Thirtieth Year, which with this issue has finally arrived, has assumed almost mythic proportions for the Zygon staff. This anniversary reminds us of the sheer accomplishment of three decades of unbroken publication, serving a movement, an interest, and a discipline that were scarcely noticeable when Ralph Wendell Burhoe and his colleagues began in March 1966. It also brings to keen awareness the persons—an impressively large number of them—who poured out their ideas, their time, and their energy over the decades to forge the intellectual and religious enterprise that this journal represents.

In his reflection at the Twentieth Anniversary symposium in January 1986, Burhoe spoke of his dream for a new paradigm. He summarized this paradigm as the vision

that, if one looked at religion in the full light of today’s much more advanced sciences, rather than as merely a phenomenon not examinable by the sciences and not connectible with the reality being explored by them, one would find that religions basically could be fruitfully explored by the sciences. I felt one would find that the basics of traditional values not only were scientifically valid but, exactly because of this, were more than ever religiously true and compelling.

This vintage writing by Zygon’s primary founder depicts the intellectual and spiritual ambience in which we began and in which we have carried on. This ambience will be explicated further in the subsequent editorials in this thirtieth volume.

This issue starts off the year with attention to the epoch-shaping Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), Jesuit priest, geologist and paleontologist, one of the discoverers of Peking Man, embattled in his dealings with his order and his church, yet always obedient in his faith. Volume three of the journal devoted two issues to Teilhard, September and December 1968, with articles by scientists Theodosius Dobzhansky, Van Potter, Francisco Ayala, and Donald Genter, by theologian George Riggan, and by philosopher Alfred Stiernotte. An article by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi appeared in June 1970; the June 1992 issue featured pieces by Karl Schmitz-Moormann (theology) and Lodovico Galleni (zoology), whose work appears in this issue as well.

This issue aims to take stock of Teilhard’s thought nearly a quarter century after his period of international fame and adulation, a quarter century in which his name has receded from public discussion. Chemist James F. Salmon, a member of Teilhard’s Jesuit Order, has served as guest editor for this issue. The care and competence with which he and his colleagues have put this issue together are obvious in what follows; this issue should prove to be an invaluable resource for those who pursue further study in the life and thought of Teilhard. Salmon himself introduces the issue in his guest editorial.

The subsequent three issues of this anniversary year strike appropriate notes. In June, we profile the work of James Gustafson, on the interface of science, theology, and ethics, with commentary from Melvin Konner (anthropology, Emory University), William Rottschaefer (philosophy, Lewis and Clark College), and Harlan Beckley (ethics, Washington and Lee College). September reconsiders the work of our founder, Ralph Wendell Burhoe, with commentary by four younger scholars, Hubert Meisinger (theology, Heidelberg), Joel Haugen (theology, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago), James Gilbert (history, University of Maryland), and Eduardo Cruz (theology, Pontifical University, Sao Paulo). In addition to an index covering the years 1986-1995, December holds surprises not yet fully revealed, even to the editors. Each of these issues will be about one-fifth larger than usual, with additional articles on a wide range of themes.

This year is also a time of farewells. Diane Goodman joined Zygon in March 1984 and became Assistant Editor in September of that year; she has continued in the post through this present issue. With her eleven-year tenure, she is one of our longest-serving colleagues, the only one who worked in both the Florida and Chicago offices, relating to two of our publishing agents, Wilfred Laurier University Press and Blackwell Publishers. Anyone who is familiar with journal editing will appreciate that Diane’s contribution is large beyond recounting. She personifies the journal for several hundred authors and others connected with Zygon. With immediate gratitude and wishes for the very best, we send her off to her new career in clinical psychology, as she finishes her doctorate at the Adler School of Professional Psychology and begins her full-time residency in counseling. The Germans have a phrase for such occasions that is scarcely translatable: Alles gute, Diane!

The new Assistant Editor is Tracy Russell-Ochoa. We welcome her.

Philip Hefner

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