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Ralph Wendell Burhoe (May 21[1] or June 21, 1911-May 8, 1997) was an important twentieth century pioneer interpreter of the importance of religion for a scientific and technological world. He was awarded the Templeton Prize in 1980.


Birth and education and career

Ralph Wendell Burhoe was born on 21 June 1911, in Somerville, Massachusetts. He attended Harvard University from 1928 to 1932 as a student of meteorology and climatology, though never completing his degree. He then entered Andover Newton Theological School.[2] Burhoe spent eighteen months in theological study at Andover. Instead of becoming a minister as he had planned, he returned to Harvard University as an employee of the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, finding some success as a scientist. He went on to become an executive officer of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences starting in 1947.[2] Until 1964, his position at the AAAS brought him into close contact with such eminent scientists as the astronomer Harlow Shapley, the geologist Kirtley Mather, and the biologist George Wald.


In 1955 while a director at AAAS, he helped found the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science. [2] Ralph Wendell Burhoe was the founder and former editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science. He pursued a passionate investigation into the differences and similarities of theology and science, becoming one of the world's most informed voices in communicating this evolving research. He played a major role in the interdisciplinary pursuit of issues at the boundary of science and religion by offering a common ground for dialogue. According to Hans Schwarz, the journal Zygon has "achieved a circulation far beyond the confines of theological journals." [2]


In 1980 he was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. He became the first American to win the Templeton Prize.


Science and Human Values in the 21st Century, Philadelphia: Westminster Press 1971.


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index[1]
  2. ^ a b c d Theology in a Global Context: The Last Two Hundred Years, Hans Schwarz, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2005, ISBN 0802829864, 9780802829863, 597 pages, p.561-562

See also

External links



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