Tomáš Halík Receives 2014 Templeton Prize

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Photo credit: Templeton Prize-Paul Hackett
Photo credit: Templeton Prize-Paul Hackett

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).

Msgr. Prof. Halík addressed leading members of the Czech and UK religious communities, political and cultural leaders, and other senior British spiritual leaders. He asked how the power of faith can create respect, so that differences can be perceived not as threats but as invitations to mutual enrichment. He cautioned that the model of multiculturalism based on the principle of toleration can lead to people living alongside each other, but not really living with each.

Condemned by his nation’s communist government as an “enemy of the regime” in 1972, Halík spent nearly two decades building and organizing an extensive secret network of academics, theologians, philosophers, and students dedicated to cultivating the intellectual and spiritual basis for a new democratic state.

The ceremony included performances from American Grammy award-winning composer Eric Whitacre, and BRIT award-nominated singer-songwriter Laura Mvula.

Nominations for the 2015 Templeton Prize are open and must be submitted online by July 1, 2014.