It has been said that liberty is always unfinished business. Liberty is strong and fragile; it must seize its opportunities and be lived. Fostering such an engagement with liberty lies behind the National Liberty Museum’s (NLM) new Welcome to Liberty gallery in Philadelphia, an interactive space, free to the public, uniquely designed to bring liberty to life and celebrate heroes of liberty of the past, present, and future.
Subject Public Engagement
Science and Christianity share an interest in understanding how creation works. In different and yet related ways, they both bear witness to the wonders of the natural world and are not necessarily in competition, despite commonly being separated. One way to reconcile this lies in thoughtful and informed dialogue between the two, which recently transpired at the Knowing Creation conference at St Andrews on August 23-24, 2014.
Krista Tippett has received a National Humanities Medal, the annual American award for deepening the nation’s engagement with the humanities. Creator and presenter of the radio show On Being and John Templeton Foundation grantee, Tippett received the award at a ceremony at the White House on Monday, July 28th.
Lois Lowry’s 1993 novel The Giver is one of the most assigned summer reading books for middle school students. The book has been adapted into a feature film starring Oscar winners Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep and will be widely released in theaters on Friday, August 15, 2014.
The perceptions that religious leaders have of science often determine how they respond to debates about science and religion. If science is presumed to be a threat to belief, defensive stances may be adopted; if the topic is felt to speak of the wonder of nature, it is likely to be approached with a more open spirit.
Studies have repeatedly confirmed that gratitude lies at the heart of joy. The scientific exploration of wellbeing, called positive psychology, continues to illuminate the ways in which the capacity to give thanks plays this critical role. It is the “queen of the virtues,” says Robert Emmons, one of the leading researchers in the field and professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. And yet, Emmons has also observed that studying gratitude is often met by a marked resistance.
Monsignor Professor Tomáš Halík, the winner of the 2014 Templeton Prize and the 44th laureate, received his award during a ceremony in St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, on May 14, 2014. The Czech priest and philosopher, who advanced religious and cultural freedoms after the Soviet invasion of his country, was awarded a check valued at £1.1 million (about $1.8 million or €1.3 million).
Science and technology progress at a thrilling pace, and often in novel directions. How can the average citizen keep up with developments, not only out of interest, but also out of the need to be informed when advances pose difficult ethical questions? One answer is the World Science Festival, an annual event providing lively and informed discussions of the Big Questions.
Science is often presumed to be a tricky matter for people of faith. Pew Research has found that Americans can feel uncomfortable accepting scientific discoveries when they are perceived to contradict their religious beliefs. But Scientists in Congregations is discovering that the apparent opposition can be overcome. The project, funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, equips churches to discuss science and religion and is demonstrating that the experience of properly engaging with science is not only informative but empowering.
Tickets are still available for many of the events at the 2014 World Science Festival, which runs from May 28 to June 1 in New York City. Several sessions are part of the Big Ideas Series, funded in part by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.