Ralph W. Burhoe, Founding Editor, 1966-1979
Ralph Wendell Burhoe (1911-1997) recognized the importance of religion in an increasingly accelerating scientific and technological age very early in his career. A key founding member of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS) in 1954, Burhoe played an extremely influential role in the interdisciplinary pursuit of issues at the boundary of science and religion, making space for finding common ground for dialogue, and becoming one of the world’s most informed voices in this evolving field. After nearly 20 years, Burhoe retired from service as the Executive Officer of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in 1964, where he was involved with the Academy’s Committee on Science and Values and the founding of the journal Dedaelus. In 1965 Burhoe joined the faculty at Meadville Lombard, a Unitarian Universalist seminary in Chicago, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1977. The founding editor of Zygon, he served from 1966 until the June issue of 1979 (Burhoe and Peters 1979). He was awarded the Templeton Prize in 1980, in honor of his showing the compatibility between evolutionary theory and theology and for his catalyzing the development and growth of organizations that yoked science and religion in furthering human welfare. Burhoe’s Zygon Issue
Karl E. Peters, Editor, 1979-1989, Co-editor, 1989-2009
Karl Peters has a long and distinguished history of support of and engagement in meaningful considerations, dialogue, and discovery at the intersection of science and faith. He served as a professor of religion and philosophy at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, USA, from 1973 until 2001. His own work is in the area of evolutionary religious thought, publishing two books and several articles. He was editor of Zygon from 1979 until 1989, and continued as co-editor, overseeing fundraising and development, alongside editor Phil Hefner from 1989 to 2009, when Hefner retired. Currently he is co-chair of the Zygon’s Joint Publication Board (JPB). He also has served as the President of each of Zygon’s two sponsoring organizations, The Institute on Religion in an Age of Science and the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science. As noted by the current Zygon editor, “Though less visible to the outside world, Peters contribution to the journal as a financially healthy and well-organized entity has been of great importance, and continues to be so.” His lifelong dedication to advancing the dynamic and evolving engagement of religion and science continues. Peters’ Zygon Issue
Philip Hefner, Editor, 1989-2009
The Rev. Philip Hefner is emeritus professor of systematic theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where he taught from 1967 to 2001. In 1988, he established the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, later renamed Zygon Center for Religion and Science*, where he served as director from 1988–2003. He is a leading scholar, who contributes to both the field of Christian theology and the dialogue between religion and science, and the author of over 150 scholarly articles and many influential books in Christian theology and on the relation of science and religion. Hefner has held dozens of visiting teaching and lecturing appointments at seminaries, colleges, and universities in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and he has represented his church on a number of ecumenical commissions. In addition to his most influential work The Human Factor on humans as ‘created co-creators,’ Hefner contributed to and oversaw the continued expansion of Zygon readership and perspectives—in the year 2000 establishing the goal of 1000 pages per year of high quality articles. This goal has been met every year since then. The Joint Publication Board of Zygon established the Philip Hefner Fund, to honor his 20 years of outstanding editorial leadership. Hefner’s Zygon Issue
Willem B. Drees, Editor, 2008-2018
Willem B. Drees, who describes himself as, “a philosopher who also was trained as a physicist and theologian,” has served as the editor of Zygon since 2008. While editor, Drees served as professor of philosophy of religion and ethics, and dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies at Leiden University, the Netherlands until 2014. More recently, he serves as Dean of the Tilburg School of Humanities and Professor of Philosophy of the Humanities at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He was also president of ESSSAT, the European Society for the Study of Science And Theology, from 2002 until 2008. Professor Drees is the author and editor of many books on religion and science, including Religion and Science in Context: A Guide to the Debates. As editor, and in his own work, Drees encourages understanding of the relations between religions and the sciences in a variety of cultural contexts worldwide, including the growth of secular and naturalistic understanding. More information can be found on his personal webpage, http://www.drees.nl.