I was recently going back through my blogs and discovered an article, “Renaissance Man,” that highlighted the work of Francisco J. Ayala, the 2010 Templeton Prize winner. What I find so special about the Templeton Prize is that it “honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.” Spiritual discoveries are going on individually and personally all the time, but when a discovery allows for a paradigm shift in thought, these discoveries are extremely important. In fact, on the Templeton Prize site, the banner states that it is “celebrating 40 years of spiritual progress.”
The Dalai Lama received this prestigious award last year in 2012. This spiritual leader has been a powerful and outspoken voice promoting the strength of compassion to solve world problems. Other Templeton Prize winners include Martin Rees, a theoretical astrophysicist; Bernard d’Espagnat, physicist and philosopher; Charles Taylor, philosopher; and Charles H. Townes, professor and writer of “The Convergence of Science and Religion.” The prize has been awarded each year since 1973. What I found particularly interesting is that the first Templeton Prize winner was Mother Teresa, who received this prize six years before receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. You can take a look at all of the winners and their contributions on the Previous Prize Winners page.
So who will be the 2013 winner – and what contribution will he or she give to furthering the understanding of spirituality? We’ll have to wait until March to see!