Templeton Prize

The Templeton Prize is an award to encourage progress in religion.   It was established in 1972 by Sir John Templeton, a Tennessee-born British financier and Presbyterian layman.   He established the award to redress the fact that no Nobel Prize is granted for religion.   Announced in March, it is awarded at Buckingham Palace in London; its value has increased over the years to £1 million.

Since its inception, recipients of the prize have included Mother Teresa, Taizé Prior Roger Schutz, Evangelist Billy Graham, Charles W. Colsen and Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Past Winners

Criteria

2013

Bishop Desmond Tutu
Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa

The qualities sought in a Templeton Prize nominee include creativity and innovation, rigor and impact.   The judges seek, above all, a substantial record of achievement that highlights or exemplifies one of the various ways in which human beings express their yearning for spiritual progress.   Consideration is given to a nominee's work as a whole, not just during the year prior to selection.

Nominations are especially encouraged in the fields of:

  • Research in the human sciences, life sciences, and physical sciences.
  • Scholarship in philosophy, theology, and other areas of the humanities.
  • Practice, including religious leadership, the creation of organizations that edify and inspire, and the development of new schools of thought.
  • Commentary and Journalism on matters of religion, virtue, character formation, and the flourishing of the human spirit.

These fields do not exhaust the areas in which achievement might qualify for the Templeton Prize, nor is it necessary for a nominee's work to be confined to just one field.

Templeton Foundation

The John Templeton Foundation was established in 1987 by the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton; the current president is his son John M. Templeton, Jr. It is usually referred to simply as the Templeton Foundation.

The mission of the Templeton Foundation is:

to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life's biggest questions.   These questions range from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity.   Our vision is derived from Sir John Templeton's commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship.   The Foundation's motto "How little we know, how eager to learn" exemplifies our support for open-minded inquiry and our hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries.

It funds work in the natural and human sciences, in philosophy and theology, in research into free-market solutions to poverty, and in support of gifted education.

It gives away about $60 million a year in research grants and programs.

The John Templeton Foundation funds several other prizes including the Epiphany Prize for Inspiring Movies

2012

Tenzin Gyatso, born Lhamo Dondrub
14th Dalai Lama

2011

Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow
cosmologist / astrophysicist, Cambridge, England.

2010

Prof. Francisco J. Ayala
Professor of Biological Sciences, Irvine, CA

2009

Prof. Bernard d'Espagnat
physicist and philosopher of science, Paris, France.

2008

Prof. Michael Heller
cosmologist and Catholic priest, Cracow, Poland.

2007

Prof. Charles Taylor
philosopher, Montreal, Canada.

2006

Prof. John D. Barrow
cosmologist, Cambridge, England.

2005

Prof. Charles H. Townes
physicist, Berkeley, CA.

2004

Prof. George F.R. Ellis
cosmologist, Cape Town, South Africa.

2003

Prof. Holmes Rolston, III
philosopher Colorado Springs, CO.

2002

The Rev. Dr. John C. Polkinghorne
scientist and theologian, Cambridge, England.

2001

Arthur Peacocke
physical biochemist and Anglican priest, Oxford University, England; founded Society of Ordained Scientists

2000

Freeman J. Dyson
physicist and professor emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey

1999

Ian Barbour
physicist and theologian at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota

1998

Sir Sigmund Sternberg
advocate of improved inter-religious relations

1997

Pandurang Shastri Athavale
Indian spiritual leader

1996

Bill Bright
founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, international evangelical ministry

1995

Dr. Paul Davies
professor, University of Adelaide, Australia

1994

Michael Novak
scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C.

1993

Charles W. Colson
founder, Prison Fellowship, Virginia

1992

Dr. Kyung-Chik Han
founder of Seoul's Young Nak Presbyterian Church

1991

The Rt. Hon. Lord Jakobovits
Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth

1990

Baba Amte, India
and Professor Charles Birch, Sydney, Australia

1989

The Very Reverend Lord MacLeod of the Iona Community, Scotland
and Professor Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker of Starnberg, West Germany

1988

Dr. Inamullah Khan
secretary-general of the World Muslim Congress

1987

The Reverend Professor Stanley L. Jaki
Princeton, New Jersey

1986

The Reverend Dr. James McCord
Princeton, New Jersey

1985

Sir Alister Hardy
Oxford, England

1984

The Reverend Michael Bourdeaux
founder of Keston College, England

1983

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
(United States)

1982

The Reverend Dr. Billy Graham
founder, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

1981

Dame Cecily Saunders
originator of Modern Hospice Movement, England

1980

Professor Ralph Wendell Burhoe
founder and editor of Zygon, Chicago

1979

Nikkyo Niwano
founder of Rissho Kosel Kai and World Conferences on Religion and Peace, Japan

1978

Professor Thomas F. Torrance
president of International Academy of Religion and Sciences, Scotland

1977

Chiara Lubich
founder of the Focolare Movement, Italy

1976

H. E. Leon Joseph Cardinal Suenens
archbishop of Malines-Brussels

1975

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
former president of India and Oxford professor of eastern religions and ethics

1974

Brother Roger
founder and prior of the Taize Community in France

1973

Mother Teresa of Calcutta
founder of the Missionaries of Charity

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