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Holmes Rolston III

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]


  • Quotes 1
  • Life 2
  • Bibliography 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7



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).[4] 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.{[5] [2]


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

  • A New Environmental Ethics: The Next Millennium for Life on Earth (Routledge, 2012)
  • Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life, Mind (Columbia University Press, 2011)
  • Genes, Genesis and God (Cambridge University Press, 1999) Gifford Lectures
  • Science and Religion: A Critical Survey (Random House 1987, McGraw Hill, Harcourt Brace; new edition, Templeton Foundation Press, 2006)
  • Philosophy Gone Wild (Prometheus Books, 1986, 1989)
  • Environmental Ethics (Temple University Press, 1988)
  • Conserving Natural Value (Columbia University Press, 1994)
  • Religious Inquiry: Participation and Detachment (Philosophical Library, 1985)
  • John Calvin Versus the Westminister Confession (Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1972)
  • "Care on Earth: Generating Informed Concern." Pages 205-245 in Paul Davies and Niels Henrik Gregersen, eds., Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

See also


  1. ^ (2)1 S.A.P.I.EN.S.Afeissa, H. S. (2008) “Darwinian Storied Residence. An introduction to the Work of Holmes Rolston III”.
  2. ^ Science and Religion: A Critical Survey, Holmes Rolston III, (1987), page vi, page ix (preface), Temple University Press, 1st ed., 358 pages, ISBN 0-87722-437-4
  3. ^ A New Environmental Ethics: The Next Millennium for Life on Earth , (2012), pages 26, 46, 48 Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-88484-6
  4. ^ Gifford Lecture Profile
  5. ^ Philip Cafaro, “Holmes Rolston, III, — 1932–“ in Callicott, J. Baird and Robert Frodeman, eds. Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, 2:211-212. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2009.

Further reading

  • Saving Creation: Nature and Faith in the Life of Holmes Rolston, III, Christopher J. Preston (San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 2009).
  • Nature, Value, Duty: Life on Earth with Holmes Rolston, III, Christopher J. Preston and Wayne Ouderkirk, eds. (Berlin: Springer, 2007)
  • "Holmes Rolston, III" in Fifty Key Thinkers on the Environment, Joy A. Palmer, ed. (London: Routledge, 2001), pages 260-268.
  • "Rolston, Holmes," in Encyclopædia Britannica, 2004 Book of the Year, pages 92–93.
  • Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2008. Rolston/ Holmes Rolston. 2008.
  • Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy (Detroit: Macmillan Reference, Gale, 2009), vol. 2, pp. 211–212, "Rolston, Holmes, III," by Philip Cafaro.
  • American Environmental Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present"Rolston, Holmes," in Anne Becher, ed. (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio, November 2000), vol II, L-Z, pages 691-692; Millerton, NY: Grey House Publishing, 2008), vol. II, L-Z, pp. 695–697.
  • "A Philosopher Gone Wild," in David D. Karnos and Robert G. Shoemaker, eds., Falling in Love with Wisdom: American Philosophers Talk About Their Calling (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).
  • "Rolston, Holmes (1932- )" in Environmental Encyclopedia, 1st, 2nd, 3rd editions. Marci Bortman et al., eds. (Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2003).
  • "Natural Thinker," Cover story by Steve Lipsher, Denver Post Empire Magazine, June 8, 1997, cover and pages 12–15, 22.
  • "Rolston, III, Holmes," Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, vol. 2, pp. 1400–1401 (London and New York: Thoemmes Continuum Publishers, 2005)
  • Who's Who in America, current and earlier editions.
  • Who's Who in the World, current and earlier editions.
  • Who's Who in Science and Engineering, current and earlier editions.

External links

  • Official webpage at Colorado State University
  • Profile at Colorado State University
  • Interview with Holmes Rolston on
  • Colorado State University Digital Archives
  • Colorado State University Streaming Media
  • Rolston Library, Department of Philosophy, Colorado State University
  • Online Bibliography of Environmental Thought, search Rolston
  • Holmes Rolston, III - Google Scholar Citations
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