Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics
2010-11 Presidential Colloquium...


The aim of the Presidential Colloquium is to provide opportunities for Clemson University students and faculty, as well as members of the community to come together to explore important issues.  The colloquium comprises various events spread over the academic year, e.g., speakers, theatrical performances, panel discussions, and films.  In every case the event is linked to the colloquium theme, which is selected with an eye to its integration “across the curriculum."  The theme for 2010-2011 is resilience.
During the past several years, we have faced daunting challenges in multiple realms, which, if they were singular challenges would be difficult enough, but are all the more challenging because they have come one after another and have often overlapped with each other. There are many examples: the attacks of 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Katrina, the financial crisis, the earthquake in Haiti, climate change, decaying physical and social infrastructure, the oil spill in the gulf. The resultant harms, costs, and set backs are palpable.  And yet, because of their resilience, many people have found ways to survive adversity and even to grow and prosper.  We see resilience not only in people but also in institutions and systems, such as the natural environment.  The value of resilience is clear, less so its origins and whether or if it can be fostered, promoted, or consciously sustained.  We will address these issues in the 11th annual Presidential Colloquium.

FALL 2010 / SPRING 2011


FALL 2010

October 28, 2010
Thursday 4:00PM
Strom Thurmond Institute

Holmes Rolstron, III

University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy

Colorado State University

Holmes Rolstron, III

Holmes Rolston, III

Environmental Ethics: Challenge and Resilience in the New Millennium

The environment is on the world agenda, also on the ethical frontier, for the foreseeable future.  Diverse combinations of nature and culture have worked well enough over millennia, but no more.  We face a future without analogy in our past.   We are living at one of the ruptures of history, worried whether European-Western civilization is self-destructing, triggering disruptions around the globe.  Our modern cultures threaten the stability, beauty, and integrity of Earth, and thereby of the cultures superposed on Earth.  An environmental ethics must find a satisfactory fit for humans in the larger communities of life on Earth.  Are humans resilient enough to meet this challenge? 

Holmes Rolston is University Distinguished Professor of philosophy at Colorado State University. He has written six books, acclaimed in critical notice in both professional journals and the national press. The more recent are: Genes, Genesis and God (Cambridge University Press, 1999), Science and Religion: A Critical Survey (Random House, McGraw Hill, Harcourt Brace), Philosophy Gone Wild (Prometheus Books) Environmental Ethics (Temple University Press), and Conserving Natural Value (Columbia University Press). He has edited Biology, Ethics, and the Origins of Life (Jones and Bartlett, Wadsworth). He has written chapters in eighty other books and over one hundred articles.

Scholars have cited and discussed in print Rolston's work over two thousand times. His articles have been reprinted and anthologized one hundred times. (See publications lists on home-page). His books have been used as texts in a hundred and fifty colleges and universities. See list.  His work is published in Australian, Canadian, British, German, Scandinavian, Slovenian, South African, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, and Russian presses and journals, translated, reviewed, or cited in journals and books in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Finnish, Danish, Czechoslovakian, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Slovenian, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese. Environmental Ethics, Philosophy Gone Wild, and Genes, Genesis and God are in Chinese translation.

Rolston was awarded the Templeton Prize in Religion in 2003, awarded by H.R.H. Prince Philip in Buckingham Palace. He was awarded the Mendel Medal by Villanova University in 2005. Rolston has spoken as distinguished lecturer on all seven continents. He gave the opening conference address to the Royal Institute of Philosophy annual conference, Cardiff, Wales, 1993. He was Distinguished Lecturer in Beijing, China, at the invitation of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of Philosophy. He participated by invitation in pre-conferences and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, 1992, where he was an official observer. He spoke at the World Congress of Philosophy, Moscow, 1993, and again in Boston, 1998. He was distinguished Visiting Professor of Bioethics, Yale University, 2005-2006.

Rolston was distinguished lecturer at the 28th Nobel Conference, 1992, at Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota, authorized by the Nobel Foundation, Stockholm. The American Philosophical Association named him a distinguished speaker at their Pacific Division, with a three hour panel devoted to his work. He was awarded the Distinguished Visiting Russell Fellow at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. In 1991, a research conference was held in Berkeley devoted to his work, and the results have been published. He was Distinguished Scholar leading a National Endowment for the Humanities colloquium at North Idaho College. He delivered the Gifford Lectures, University of Edinburgh, 1997/1998. He was awarded a Doctor of Letters (D. Litt.), Davidson College, 2002.

Rolston has been an invited lecturer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, at Georgetown University, at Vanderbilt University, Ohio State University, the University of Georgia, the University of Colorado Law School, the University of Oregon Law School, California State University, Washington State University, Pennsylvania State University, Harvard University, Yale University Law School, Washington and Lee University, University of Michigan, the University of Manchester, Oxford University, the University of Bergen, the University of Oslo, the University of Helsinki, Uppsala University, Arhus University, Odense University, Bucharest University, Hanazono College, Kyoto University in Japan, the University of Guelph, at four Chinese and eleven Australian universities.  See list.  He spoke at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. He has been a guest lecturer for the Council for Philosophical Studies. In July-August 1995 he was Visiting Lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He was a plenary speaker at the 1994 40th Anniversary Conference of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. Earlier, Rolston was named Visiting Scholar at the Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions.   He gave the opening address, Royal Institute of Philosophy, London, Annual Series, on environmental ethics in 2009.

Rolston was named by Macmillan Company the area editor for environmental ethics in the Encyclopedia of Bioethics, Edition II. He was named by the U. S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment to an Advisory Board for a study of biodiversity and legislation. The American Academy of Religion elected him president of the Rocky Mountain - Great Plains Region. Rolston is listed in Who's Who in the World (23rd edition, 2006, and earlier), Who's Who in America (59th edition, 2005, and earlier), in Who's Who in Religion (3rd edition, 1986), Who's Who in Science and Engineering (8th edition, 2005-2006, and earlier), and in Who's Who in American Education (7th edition, 2006-2007, and earlier). He is past-president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics and has served on the Board of Governors of the Society for Conservation Biology. He serves on the Advisory Board, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion.

Rolston's work is published by a variety of presses--from commercial academic publishers (Prentice-Hall, Random House, McGraw Hill, Routledge, Academic Press, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Blackwell, Jones and Bartlett, Sinauer), through university presses (Yale University Press, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, University of Wisconsin Press, Pennsylvania State University Press and the University of Queensland [Australia] Press, Temple University Press, University of Arizona Press, Columbia University Press), through specialized philosophy publishers (Prometheus Books, Philosophical Library), religious presses (Abingdon, Fortress, Westminster/John Knox), and general publishers (United States Government Printing Office, United Nations Environment Programme, Sierra Club Books, Westview Press, Island Press). He is the author of two dozen articles in encyclopedias and companions.

Rolston has published across a wide spectrum of journals--from leading philosophy journals (Ethics; Philosophy and Phenomenological Research; Inquiry; The Monist, Biology and Philosophy; Canadian Philosophical Reviews; British Journal of Aesthetics, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism) and journals of theology (Scottish Journal of Theology, Theology Today, Interpretation; through specialized philosophy journals (Philosophy East and West; Environmental Ethics; Zygon; Journal of Medicine and Philosophy) to leading science journals (BioScience; Natural History, Conservation Biology, Journal of Forestry, Quarterly Review of Biology, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Biodiversity and Conservation), to professional law journals (Harvard Law and Policy Review, University of Colorado Law Review, Yale Journal of International Law) and intellectual religious journals (Christian Century; Commonweal; Christianity Today). He has published in American Forests and The Environmental Professional.

Rolston has served as a consultant with over two dozen conservation and policy groups, including the U. S. Congress and a Presidential Commission. He is a member of the Working Group on Ethics of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). He is a founder and the associate editor of Environmental Ethics, a refereed professional journal now in its seventeenth year, and on the editorial board of Zygon: Journal of Science and Religion, Public Affairs Quarterly, Environmental Values, The South African Journal of Philosophy / Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Wysbegeerte, Socijalna Ekologija (Zabreg, Croatia), the International Journal of Wilderness, and Conservation Biology. He serves on a half dozen other editorial boards. He has been a recipient of NEH and NSF awards. He won the Pennock Award for Distinguished Service at Colorado State University, the Dean's Award for Creativity and Excellence in the Humanities, and has been named University Distinguished Professor.

Rolston's work has received critical notice in The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, and other national papers. He has published in The Denver Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and New York Newsday


Intellectual Biography: Christopher J. Preston, Saving Creation: Nature and Faith in the Life of Holmes Rolston, III. San Antonio, TX: Trinity University Press, 2009.

Sponsored By:

The Rutland Institute for Ethics
The Strom Thurmond Institute
Philosophy & Religion Department
Science and Technology in Society



November 11, 2010
Thursday 7:00PM
Strom Thurmond Institute

Mary Dalton

Associate Professor of Communication &

Co-Director of the Documentary Film Program

Wake Forest University

Holmes Rolstron, III

Mary Dalton

Living Above It:  Martha Mason, Polio, and Resilience

Mary M. Dalton is Associate Professor of Communication and Co-Director of the Documentary Film Program at Wake Forest University.  Her documentaries have been screened at various festivals, museums, galleries, and libraries.   Her scholarly publications include the books The Hollywood Curriculum:  Teachers in the Movies, Teacher TV:  Sixty Years of Teachers on Television, and the co-edited volume The Sitcom Reader:  America Viewed and Skewed.  She is also a media critic for the National Public Radio affiliate WFDD-FM, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Mary Dalton's award winning film, Martha in Lattimore, will be screened and then discussed.

About the Film
Martha Mason lived in an iron lung for over 60 years. Despite this, she was able to write a book, send email, surf the Internet, and maintain strong connection with friends, church, and the entire community of Lattimore, North Carolina. This award-winning documentary, produced by DFP co-director Mary Dalton, explores Martha's past, her philosophy of life, and her relationship with the world.

Sponsored By:

The Rutland Institute for Ethics
The Strom Thurmond Institute














These events are upcoming; check back later for more information:

  • None at this time


For more information contact:

Daniel E. Wueste, Ph.D.
Director, Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics
864-656-6147; Fax: 864-656-2858
Office email:


More about the colloquium:

From the beginning, the theme of the colloquium  has been a central focus in English Composition classes.  However, the link to course work is not confined to English classes.  Faculty across campus are encouraged to make the most of it in preparing syllabi for the upcoming academic year.   In 2001, for example, the theme was “Science and Values: New Frontiers, Perennial Questions.”  The subject of human cloning, which was addressed by one of the major speakers, was explored in many classes in the life sciences, humanities, and social sciences.  Students who participated in the First Annual J.T. Barton Jr., Ethics Essay Scholarship Competition also explored it. (The competition is sponsored by the Rutland Institute for Ethics.)  Linking the colloquium and the ethics essay competition turned out to be a very good thing.  Accordingly, we continue to link them.