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.
Subject Public Engagement
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.
“Perceptions: Science and Religious Communities” is an upcoming one-day conference on March 13, 2015 that will bring together national and local leaders in science and religion to foster dialogue between these communities, and to plan a course for future conversation.
The Gratitude Essay Contest, sponsored by the 92nd Street Y’s #GivingTuesday campaign in partnership with the John Templeton Foundation, is a chance for youth to think about and explore important questions about gratitude.
UNBROKEN, NBC Universal, and the John Templeton Foundation have partnered to release a 6-minute video that explores Louis Zamperini’s story in further detail and amplifies UNBROKEN’s inspiring themes of faith, resilience, and the power of forgiveness.
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.
Six individuals have won a 2014 Purpose Prize, alongside 38 other individuals who have become Purpose Prize Fellows. The program was established by Encore.org to recognize social innovators over 60 and is funded in part by the John Templeton Foundation. This year’s winners were honored on October 28 at an awards ceremony at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Arizona.