Throughout this work I critique certain uses, and overuses, of terms such as interdependence and interconnectedness, yet I fully appreciate the interdependent and systemic nature of academic work. I wish to express my gratitude and respect for this particular form of interdependence and the many people who made it possible. This project began as part of my doctoral work in religious studies at Indiana University. Since then it has followed me, or perhaps I have followed it, from town to town and through several transitions. Along the way many individuals provided critical feedback and moral support.
I am grateful to Robert Wuthnow and William Howarth for the opportunity to spend a fellowship year at Princeton University's Center for the Study of Religion, as part of the center's project on Darwin and religion. I profited from conversations with numerous people, both at the center and in the Princeton community as a whole. I particularly wish to thank Charles Mathewes, Marie Griffith, and Max Stackhouse for their comments and encouragement, as well as participants in a workshop at the center where I presented parts of this work.
I am indebted to Holmes Rolston and William French for careful reading and extensive comments on an earlier draft. Professor Rolston also alerted me to recent arguments on suffering, theodicy, and evolution (among other topics), and for that I am very grateful. Since its inception this project has been influenced by Rolston's scholarship, and my appreciation for his work has deepened over the years. I know of no other scholar who has explored the complex and controversial intersection of science, religion, and environmental ethics with such thoroughness and thoughtfulness. Thanks also to my current colleagues at McGill University, particularly Greg Mikkelson, for clarification of certain ecological and ecosystem concepts. Wendy Lochner