“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind,” Albert Einstein once remarked. But where can the resonances he discerned be found? Can we take the genius of general relativity at his word, in a world often dominated by narratives of conflict between science and religion? Think-Write-Publish Science and Religion, a new project at Arizona State University, funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, will explore how the two domains describe reality in ways that are mutually reinforcing.
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.
We are living longer. By some estimates, two thirds of the humans who have ever lived to the age of 65 are alive today. So what is the purpose of a longer life? The Milken Institute, with support from the John Templeton Foundation, convened a group of experts at the Successful Aging Innovation Summit to discuss the way society views aging, to understand the connection between successful aging and beneficial purpose, and to consider a call to action.
Key milestones in the story of human evolution—including walking upright, developing technologies, and language development—are explored in a new traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian and the American Library Association. Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human?, funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, will appear at 19 public libraries across the United States between April 2015 and April 2017.
Leading scientists and theologians, writers and thinkers will discuss big questions during the 7 Days of Genius festival, beginning March 1, hosted by the 92nd Street Y and supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.