In G. Barbour Chair in Theology and Science

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Bonnie F. Johnston,

Communications Director
Phone: 510-848-8152
Fax: 510-848-2535

September 26, 2007

 

The Campaign for the Ian G. Barbour Chair in Theology and Science Announced

Berkeley, CA-September 26, 2007-The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) today publicly announced a Campaign to endow the Ian G. Barbour Chair in Theology and Science.

The Ian G. Barbour Chair will provide research, teaching, and mentorship to graduate students at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California and provide leadership to core CTNS programs.

 

In an age when science is often seen to conflict with religion, this Chair, the only one of its kind in the western United States, will bring the natural sciences into the classrooms of GTU doctoral and seminary students in creative new ways. It will ensure that future generations of faculty and students may enter into the constructive dialogue between faith and science and be empowered for research, teaching and ministry. 

 

The Chair is named in honor of Ian G. Barbour, an unparalleled pioneer in science and religion. His 1966 classic, Issues in Science and Religion, launched the recent era of scholarly study in this interdisciplinary field. His prolific writings over the past decades have contributed enormously to the growing international, intercultural, and interreligious dialogue, and they continue to inspire both new and seasoned scholars. Dr. Barbour is a founding member of the CTNS Board of Directors, a pivotal financial supporter of the Center and continues to serve as a visionary for CTNS’s mission and programs.

 

In September 2006, the CTNS Board of Directors named Dr. Robert John Russell to be the first holder of the Ian G. Barbour Chair. Since 1981, Dr. Russell has served as both Founding Director of CTNS and Professor of Theology and Science In-Residence at the GTU. Holding a Ph.D. in physics and an M.Div./M.A. in theology, Dr. Russell embodies the motto of the Ian G. Barbour Chair: “Where religion meets science.” He has mentored dozens of Ph.D. and M.A. students in theology and science, ethics and Christian spirituality at the GTU. Many of his former students hold tenured faculty positions at universities or seminaries and are teaching courses in faith and science to a new generation while others work in non-profit programs focusing on these important issues. Hundreds of divinity students have found Dr. Russell’s M.Div. courses in theology and science, environmental ethics and bioethics vitally important as they prepare for ministry in an age of scientific discovery and technological challenge.

The Chair campaign committee is pleased to announce that as a result of early gifts, the campaign goal of $2.5 million is more than half-way met. The committee hopes to raise the remaining $700,000 by the end of 2009 to complete the fund to endow the Chair.

For more information, visit www.ctns.org/chair, call 510-848-8152, email campaign@ctns.org or write to CTNS, 2400 Ridge Road, Berkeley, CA 94709 USA.

Founded in 1981, the mission of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) is to foster dialogue and creative, mutual interaction between theology and the natural sciences through research, teaching and public service. CTNS is an Affiliate of The Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California, (www.gtu.edu)  an ecumenical consortium of nine Christian seminaries and a graduate school offering Ph.D., Th.D., and M.A. degrees in areas including theology, ethics, Biblical studies and spirituality, and sponsors programs in Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. As an internationally acclaimed crossroads of interfaith scholarship, the GTU provides the ideal context for the mission and vision of CTNS and the Barbour Chair. (www.ctns.org)

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Where Religion Meets Science