2011 Templeton Prize Winner
Lord Martin J. Rees, a former president of the Royal Society, was awarded the £1-million Templeton Prize this week. Rees is a theoretical astrophysicist; Master of Trinity College, one of Cambridge University’s top academic posts; and former president of the Royal Society, the highest leadership position within British science. He has spent decades investigating the implications of the big bang and the nature of black holes.
The Templeton Prize “honors a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual foundation,” said the Templeton Foundation in a statement.
“The questions Rees raises have an impact far beyond the simple assertion of facts, opening wider vistas than any telescope ever could,” John M. Templeton Jr. said. “By peering into the farthest reaches of the galaxies, Martin Rees has opened a window on our very humanity, inviting everyone to wrestle with the most fundamental questions of our nature and existence.”
American Academy of Arts and Sciences Inducts Four AAR Members into Its 231st Class of Members
Four AAR members were recently inducted into the 231st class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Only 212 scholars worldwide from all fields of study were invited to join this prestigious membership in 2011. The newly inducted AAR members are as follows:
Franklin I. Gamwell, University of Chicago
Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and technology policy, global security, social policy, the humanities and culture, and education. With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Academy’s work is advanced by its 5,000 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.
Lenoir-Rhyne University and Southern Seminary Joining Forces
Following a feasibility study, the boards of Lenoir-Rhyne University and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) have recommended that the institutions enter into a formal collaborative partnership leading to a merger of the institutions. The plan calls for LTSS to become Lenoir-Rhyne’s school of theology and remain a seminary located in Columbia, South Carolina. LTSS will maintain its name and own identity while integrating with the larger university system. The study leading up to this recommendation was coordinated and fully supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which supports and partners with both institutions. The merger will begin immediately and will be completed in the summer of 2012.
Meadville Lombard Theological School and Andover Newton Theological School End Plans for Merged Multifaith Theological University
Talks between Meadville Lombard Theological School and Andover Newton Theological School to create a new multifaith theological university have ended. The two schools have indicated that they will go their separate ways.
The Rev. Dr. Nick Carter, president of Andover Newton, said that he was disappointed that the talks with Meadville Lombard fell through. However, he said, “the vision for multifaith theological education is alive and well,” and that Andover Newton Theological School is still exploring the idea with other partners.
Meanwhile, Meadville Lombard Theological School will be maintaining its independence. In January, Meadville Lombard announced that it had agreed to sell its main academic and administrative building to the University of Chicago for an undisclosed price. Meadville Lombard is in the process of searching for new space in Chicago, Illinois.
Society of Biblical Literature Awarded a $300,000 NEH Grant for Interactive Website
The Society of Biblical Literature was recently awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the development of a new interactive website. The website will connect scholars and their research to one another, and will provide an avenue for credible scholars to disseminate scholarly research and commentary directly to the public.
The site will begin production immediately, with a planned launch in 2013. Once completed, the site will become a public platform for SBL members to speak directly to new audiences and to gain a stronger voice in the public square when questions arise about the Bible and its contexts.
“This is a huge opportunity for SBL to showcase the work of biblical scholars, educate and engage the public, and foster biblical scholarship,” said John Kutsko, executive director of SBL. “It also goes without saying that this award comes at a time of increasing pressure on the public support of the humanities at the state and federal levels. Thus, the award commitment is all the more significant in this context, and we are all the more grateful that the NEH has made us stewards of their support of scholarship, education, and the humanities.
Henry Luce Foundation Awards $350,000 Grant to Episcopal Divinity School
The Henry Luce Foundation of New York awarded the Episcopal Divinity School a grant of $350,000 over a four-year period to fund a dedicated program of interfaith studies. The grant will be used to enlarge faculty training, expand curriculum, and develop online continuing education in other faith traditions.
“Our priorities for the first year,” said Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, president and dean of Episcopal Divinity School, “are to hire a scholar to teach the history of Islam, and to design and coordinate a program for faculty that integrates field visits to the many interfaith resources in the Boston area.”
Association of Theological Schools and Luce Foundation Name Six Faculty Members as 2011–2012 Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology
Selected on the basis of the strength of their proposals to conduct creative and innovative theological research, the seven Fellows (below) will engage in year-long research in various areas of theological inquiry. The 2011–2012 Fellows constitute the eighteenth class of scholars to be appointed since the inception of the program in 1993, bringing the total number of Luce Fellows to one hundred and eleven. The program is supported by a grant from The Henry Luce Foundation, honoring the late Henry Luce III.
2011-2012 Henry Luce III Theology Fellows
Khaled Emmanuel Anatolios
John P. Burgess
Charles E. Hill
Mark D. Jordan
Paul Chang-Ha Lim
Sandra M. Schneiders
Chloë F. Starr
2011–2012 Lilly Theological Research Grant Recipients
Congratulations to the following 2011–2012 Lilly Theological Research Grant winners.
For Faculty Fellowships:
For Theological Scholars Grants:
For Research Expense Grants:
For Collaborative Research Grants (project leader is listed first):
Christianity Today Book Awards
Christianity Today has recently announced its 2011 book award winners. The awards serve to recognize outstanding volumes that shed light on people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission. This year, 62 publishers nominated 427 titles published in 2010.
The 2011 Christianity Today Book Awards:
Biblical Studies (tie)