Ian Barbour, who died at 90 in Northfield, Minnesota, where he taught for 30 years at Carleton College, was widely lauded for his pioneering role in bridging religion and science. He died on December 24 in a hospital five days after suffering a stroke at home.
As a boy, Barbour grew up within a mixture of church, science and academic settings. His Episcopalian mother and his Presbyterian father (who was a noted geologist) both taught in China in the 1920s; the family left in 1931 for England, later moving to the United States.
Barbour earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at Swarthmore College in 1943. While there, influenced by Quaker thought, he registered as a conscientious objector.