Holmes Rolston III

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Holmes Rolston III

Holmes Rolston III (born November 19, 1932) is a philosopher who is University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University. He is best known for his contributions to environmental ethics and the relationship between science and religion. Among other honors, Rolston won the 2003 Templeton Prize, awarded by Prince Philip in Buckingham Palace. He gave the Gifford Lectures, University of Edinburgh, 1997-1998.

The Darwinian model is used to define the main thematic concepts in Rolston's philosophy and, in greater depth, the general trend of his thinking.[1]


The interface between science and religion is, in a certain sense, a no-man's land. No specialized science is competent here, nor does classical theology or academic philosophy really own this territory. This is an interdisciplinary zone where inquirers come from many fields. But this is a land where we increasingly must live.

Science and Religion: A Critical Survey (1987, 2006)[2]


His grandfather and father Holmes Rolston I, II were Presbyterian ministers. Rolston III was married on June 1, 1956 to Jane Irving Wilson, with whom he has a daughter and son. He holds a B.S. in physics and mathematics from Davidson College (1953) and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary (1956).[3] He was ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church (USA) also in 1956. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in 1958; his advisor was Thomas F. Torrance. He earned an M.A. in the philosophy of science from the University of Pittsburgh in 1968, beginning his career later that year as an assistant professor of philosophy at Colorado State University and becoming a full professor in 1976. He became a University Distinguished Professor in 1992. He gave the Gifford Lectures, University of Edinburgh, 1998-1999. He was named Templeton Prize laureate in 2003. He has lectured by invitation on all seven continents.[citation needed]


Rolston is author of eight books that have won acclaim in both academic journals and the mainstream press. They are:

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