Eric Greitens begins his new book, Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life, with a powerful story. Greitens, a Navy SEAL, was contacted by a fellow combat veteran who was facing a personal crisis and reached out to Greitens, seeking some kind of help. In a series of letters, twenty-three of which make up the book, Greitens drew on his research, supported by the John Templeton Foundation, which centers on the development of resilient moral character.
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A look at upcoming events, including workshops and tv programs, supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.
An active spirituality has health benefits for all, and for children in particular, according to a new book, The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving. The links are clear, explains author Lisa Miller, director of clinical psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University: young people with a flourishing sense of spirituality are 40% less likely to use and abuse substances and 60% less likely to be depressed.
Can texting build a sense of empathy with others? It’s an important question, argues Sara Konrath, principal investigator for the Interdisciplinary Program on Empathy and Altruism Research (iPEAR) and John Templeton Foundation grantee. Every second, thousands of tweets are posted and hundreds of thousands of text messages are sent. But what is the emotional and personal impact of this virtual communication and, if negative, can it be changed?
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By 2050, for the first time in history, the number of Muslims around the world is projected to nearly equal the number of Christians. Over the same period, the number of atheists, agnostics, and other people who do not affiliate with any religion—though increasing in countries such as the United States and France—will make up a declining share of the world’s total population. These are two of the key findings in a major new report, The Future of Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050, from the nonpartisan think tank Pew Research Center.
L’Arche communities, founded by the 2015 Templeton Prize Laureate Jean Vanier, have become the focus of a project funded by the John Templeton Foundation to study exemplars of the virtues of care and compassion. “Love, Compassion, and Care: Virtue Science and Exemplarity in Real Life and in the Laboratory” is a joint project between The Travis Research Institute at Fuller Theological Seminary’s Graduate School of Psychology and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
In 2007, the John Templeton Foundation’s Humble Approach Initiative held a symposium to address a question posed by L’Arche’s visionary founding leader and 2015 Templeton Prize laureate, Jean Vanier: “What have people with disabilities taught me?” The answers are presented in a book, The Paradox of Disability: Responses to Jean Vanier and L’Arche Communities from Theology and the Sciences.
The 2015 Templeton Prize has been awarded to Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, a revolutionary network of communities in which people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers. Vanier embodies the three key qualities celebrated by the award, explained Jennifer Simpson, the granddaughter of Sir John Templeton, when the announcement was made at the British Academy in London on March 11: he is an entrepreneur of the spirit whose accomplishments include insight, discovery, and practical works.
David Sloan Wilson’s new book, Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others, explores the idea that altruism plays a key role in the social organization of groups. The book, co-published by the Templeton Press and Yale University Press, is part of a series titled Foundational Questions in Science.