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Holmes Rolston III is a philosopher and a Presbyterian minister whose research, writings, and lectures on the religious imperative to respect nature helped to establish the field of environmental ethics.

His work assigns value not only to human beings but also to plants, animals, species, and ecosystems as core issues of theological and scientific concern. He is one of the world’s leading advocates for protecting the Earth’s biodiversity and ecology in recognition of the intrinsic value of creation, including the ongoing evolutionary genesis in the natural world.  In philosophical circles, he is widely known as the “father of environmental ethics.”  In theological circles, he is known for his concept of a sacred, prolific, yet “cruciform” creation.


I have spent my life in a lover's quarrel, not with my wife of four decades, but with the two disciplines I love: science and religion….The trouble is making peace between the two; but equally I have had to quarrel with both about values intrinsic to nature. Science thought nature to be value-free. Monotheism thought nature fallen owing to human sin. They agreed that humans were the center of value on Earth. I had to fight both theology and science to love nature.