In this third feature of the #Prizes in Philosophy Series, we take a look at the Templeton Prize — a USD 1 000 000 (£1,100,000 Sterling) prize granted to a living person for exceptional contributions in “affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works”. The prize is open to any one living person whose works have indirectly or directly explored “the many and diverse manifestation of the Divine”. According to the direction of renowned founder and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, the prize’s annual monetary value must always exceed that of the Noble Prizes to emphasize the equal importance of the spiritual in humanities.
The prize was first established in 1972 to encourage particularly “open-mindedness” and “humility” on the “possible character of ultimate reality and the divine”. Furthermore, the Templeton Prize and the John Templeton Foundation are “to stand apart from any [particular] consideration of dogma or personal religious belief[s]”. Laureates must be “innovative, creative, enthusiastic, and open to competition and new ideas in their approach to the Big Questions” — scientific notions which include “complexity, emergence, evolution, infinity, and time”, and the ethical and spiritual include “basic phenomena as altruism, creativity, free will, generosity, gratitude, intellect, love, prayer, and purpose”. For more information about the John Templeton Foundation and for “The Philanthropic Vision of Sir John Templeton” click here.
The following is a list of Laureates of The Prize since 2007 (it is noteworthy that there has not been any female Laureates in the last 30 years, going as far back as 1981). We will be covering here at Integrating Horizons not only the following Laureates and their work but also devoting attention to the few female Laureates that have been recipient of The Prize.
To be successfully nominated for The Prize, the candidate must possess a “substantial record of achievement” highlighting “one of the various ways in which human beings express their yearning for spiritual progress”. The candidate’s work must be considered as a whole, not merely through selections. Any person may nominate a candidate. The deadline for submitting the 2015 nominations is July 1st 2014 (11:00 PM EDT). The nominations are submitted to a panel of judges composed from diverse “academic disciplines” and “religious traditions”. A list of current and past judges may be found here.
Furthermore, a nomination must be accompanied with what is called a “Templeton Prize Nomination Narrative” composed of the following criteria:
– “Spiritual Dimensions – How has the individual made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimensions, whether through insight, discovery or practical works?”
– “Entrepreneurship – Does the individual capture the full meaning and breadth of being an “entrepreneur of the spirit” – someone who has both explored and then achieved a substantial record of contributions to “spiritual progress” – especially in regard to truly innovative discoveries and then widely influential dissemination?”
– “New Insights regarding the Divine – From any domain of human effort: from science to philosophy – to social science – to theology – and/or to creation of new high-impact organizations – how has the individual demonstrated singular success or breakthroughs with clear evidence of progress in humanity’s effort to comprehend the many and diverse manifestations of the Divine?”
– “Spiritual Realities – Does the individual’s work clearly represent innovative – theoretical – practical – and enduring impact in accomplishments and communications regarding previously unrecognized dimensions of “Spiritual Realities”, including love, forgiveness, gratitude, creativity, infinity, ultimate reality and purpose in the cosmos?”
– “Spiritual Dilemmas in Life – What has the individual done to demonstrate breakthroughs in addressing the timeless spiritual dilemmas of human life through open-minded humility in asking and seeking innovative answers to questions of substance and meaning and the challenging of assumptions?”
We will be featuring here on Integrating Horizons a special series of posts relating to the announcements for the 2015 Templeton Laureate.