Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sir John Templeton, 1912-2008

"How little we know, how eager to learn."

That is the motto that financier and philanthropist John Templeton set up for the foundation which he established in 1987 to promote the study of religion and spirituality as they relate to science, health, and other aspects of modern society. Templeton, a naturalized British citizen who was born in Tennessee, died Tuesday at the age of 95.

After making his fortune in investment funds (which are now part of the Franklin Templeton Group), Templeton in 1972 established the Templeton Prize which each year awards one million pounds for "exemplary achievement in life's spiritual dimensions." Mother Teresa was the first winner (six years before she won the Nobel Prize), and while other early winners were mostly religious figures, more recently the award has usually gone to scientists and philosophers such as Freeman Dyson, Paul Davies and John Polkinghorne.

One of the activities of the Templeton Foundation is Templeton Foundation Press, which publishes books on the connections between religion and science, and on interreligious understanding, among other topics. Several of their publications are available at Accent on Books.

More about Sir John Templeton can be found here.

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