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Tributes to Ian G. Barbour

Ian G. Barbour's profound work has influenced many individuals in the field of science and religion.  These tributes were compiled and presented to Dr. Barbour during the conference, "The Past and Future of Science-Religion Dialogue: Celebrating the Work of Ian G. Barbour."

"We have been blessed by Ian Barbour's critical and creative role in development of modern discussions of science and religion. He has been strongly committed to both science and religion, carefully objective, had the courage and persistence required in the early days of such discussions, and has very much enriched our understanding and thoughts. Many thanks to Ian Barbour!"
Charles Townes
University Professor of Physics Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

"I first met you, Ian, in Cambridge in the 1960s when I was a young graduate student in history and philosophy of science. Your comprehensive book Issues in Science and Religion was an inspiration to me then, as your others have been since, and a wonderful guide to the richness and intellectual challenge of the subject. On your 80th birthday I join the many who wish to salute and celebrate your unique and magisterial contribution. May you enjoy good health and vitality for many years to come."
John Brooke
Andreas Idreos Professor of Science & Religion and Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford

"I want to express my warmest thanks to Ian, the doyen of the science and religion community, for his great achievements over his long and fruitful life.  Issues in Science and Religion was the first serious book I ever read about our field.  It laid before the reader a wealth of significant issues, each treated with the depth of scholarship and fairness of exposition that has been the hallmark of all Barbour's work.  Heartiest congratulations to you on your eightieth birthday, Ian.  We are all in your debt.  Keep up the good work!"
John Polkinghorne
Winner of the 2002 Templeton Prize

"Let me add my voice to the chorus of those who have gathered to pay tribute to you and your achievements.  I cut my eye teeth as a religion-science scholar on Myths, Models and Paradigms, which was one of the major influences on my defense of Lakatos in Explanation from Physics to Theology (as I had to admit at the time).  Again and again at SSQ events around the world I watched you play Master of Ceremonies, summarizing impossibly convoluted debates with a magisterial and diplomatic hand.  Now that I find myself being painted with a process brush, the kinship bond has grown even stronger.  May the future bring many more years in which you continue to observe, comment on, and influence the religion-science dialogue around the world!"
Philip Clayton
Ingraham Chair, Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy at the Claremont Graduate University

"I can't even remember our first meeting but it is surely connected to an event at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in the early 1990s. What constantly comes to mind through the years I have known you, is not just the enormous intellectual contribution which you continued to make during those years-- the enormous skill of synthesizing vast ranges of material, the clarity and fairness of your treatment of ideas at the interface of science and religion-- but also the care you showed for those of the next generation who would carry on pieces of work you had pioneered. I remember the early days of Science and the Spiritual Quest, and the probing with questions in our personal conversations, asking how it was going. You were ready to give you energy to still another task, if the request was made, without need of any attention or recognition. So I think of you as personal model larger than the field of theology and science-- an intellectual leader of real stature, but one who extended friendship, and great support to a common vocation. I will always be grateful."
Mark Richardson
Professor of Systematic Theology, General Theological Seminary

"I first met Ian face-to-face at a meeting of the AAAS in Washington DC in the 1978.  I was attending with a young graduate student friend and we went to hear Robert Jastrow give a lecture on "God and the Astronomers" based on his new book.  As we sat on the front row waiting for the lecture to begin, I noticed that the person sitting next to us had a nametag indicating that he was from Carleton College.  As casual conversation I said something to him to the effect that there was a faculty colleague of his whose work had been very significant to me; namely, Ian Barbour.  At which point he pointed to his name.  My grad student friend said that it was the first time he had every seen me speechless.

In 1982 Ian agreed to be a participant in the newly formed Task Force on Theology and Cosmology of the new reunited Presbyterian Church (USA).  Bob Russell also agreed to serve on the Task Force although neither he nor Ian were Presbyterians.  Their contributions were invaluable in this first incarnation of an effort to prod this Presbyterian denomination to more deliberately take account across its institutional life of developments in science and technology.

For me, Ian continues to be one of the most lucid contributors to the science and religion field.  While he manifests an extraordinarily irenic spirit, writing persuasively about the views of others, he is also able to offer incisive critiques of these views and present his own views with a modesty not always exhibited in either the world of the academy or the world of science.  His scholarship and scholarly demeanor set a standard that I am seldom able to meet."
Jim Miller
Senior Program Associate, AAAS Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion

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