What are the spiritual yearnings that power the human desire for progress? How does the imagination shape the future? What values propel the technological enhancement of life? The University of Chicago, along with Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, has announced a new two-year program called The Enhancing Life Project, which aims to explore this rich but widely unexamined dimension of human activity.
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma civil rights march, a movement guided by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that led President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign the Voting Rights Act into law on August 6, 1965. The story of this powerful movement is being brought to life in an upcoming film titled Selma, which highlights the three months leading up to the Selma march as it has never been told.
What are the rules, ideals, and principles that can guide us through a full and joyous life? Over 25 years ago, Sir John Templeton launched the Laws of Life essay contest to encourage young people to reflect on their purpose. Writing from the Heart, published in 2001, captures many of these extraordinary essays in an inspiring compilation that details what young people have learned about life. Today, the competition continues to spark thousands of students to put pen to paper and describe their experiences, their hopes, and their insights.
The annual global celebration of giving and generosity known as #GivingTuesday will take place on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. This year, a new online initiative offers the chance to increase the depth in which individuals engage with giving. The Science of Giving Online Resource Center is a one-stop destination to learn about living gratefully and generously.
A new website and initiative from the John Templeton Foundation intends to help increase the spiral of gratitude. ElementofGratitude.org aims to put the ancient insight and scientific evidence into practice by demonstrating that gratitude and thankfulness do indeed lead to giving, and vice versa. The goal of the site is to start a chain reaction across the internet, an online manifestation of the gratitude spiral.
The science of philanthropy is helping to expand our understanding of why and how people give. And yet, at the second annual conference of the Science of Philanthropy Initiative (SPI) earlier this month, a program supported by the John Templeton Foundation, principal investigator John List made an admission. “As scientists,” he said, “I think we haven’t yet provided the sort of information that practitioners need.”
Might the way we see be intimately linked to our imaginings of the future? Could memory be not a storehouse of past stories but a hope chest of possibilities? Can emotion offer guidance, or knowledge make predictions? These are some of the questions addressed by the new science of Prospective Psychology, a field that aims to facilitate a change in the course of social science by moving prospection to the center of research on human action.
“When the imagination sleeps, words are emptied of their meaning,” reflected writer and Nobel laureate Albert Camus. But what is the imagination? Is it sheer fantasy, or might it be crucial to engaging with life and exploring the world? How might it relate to dreaming, to personal development or mental flexibility? And what scientific information is needed to understand how imagination functions and grows?
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).
Is Ultimate Reality Unlimited Love?, a new book published by the Templeton Press, is the culmination of 15 years of dialogue between Sir John Templeton and Stephen Post, founder of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love.