Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science

March 1996 Editorial

[Zygon, vol. 31, no. 1 (March 1996).]
© 1996 by the Joint Publication Board of Zygon. ISSN: 0591-2385
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1996.tb00001.x

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In this issue we present the first comprehensive analysis and commentary on the thought of Ian Barbour. Barbour has long been considered a monumental, path-breaking figure in the endeavor to demonstrate that religion and science can and do interact in fruitful ways. He has stood as a major voice against the often-prevailing opinion that science and religion are enemies engaged in warfare. Countless men and women—scholars of religion, scientists, and laypersons across the spectrum—count Ian Barbour as a role model for putting together the pieces—religion, science, technology, and ethics—in a way that sustains viable thinking in a situation often marked by a bewildering intellectual confusion. We are grateful to pest editor Ernest Simmons for making this issue possible.

When this issue on Ian Barbour’s work is placed alongside the previous issue of this journal (December 1995), which focused on the work of Ralph Wendell Burhoe, readers have in hand useful commentary and interpretation of the two major post-World War II American figures in the religion-and-science field. Quite different from one another, both in their intentions and in their constructive intellectual contributions, they offer those who study their work a significant insight into how religion and science interact and why that interaction is important. Between them, these two thinkers laid foundations that have proven to be essential for those who come after them.

Filling out this issue, Joan Goodwin provides a winsome vignette of a nineteenth-century precursor of Barbour and Burhoe, Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley. Joseph Życiński provides an update on the anthropic principle and offers his own perspectives on its usefulness in relating religion and science.

The remaining issues of this thirty-first volume of Zygon will place substantial emphasis on the neurosciences. Readers are urged to give some attention to the list of coming attractions in the journal that follows this editorial.

Philip Hefner



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