Sir John Templeton




Templeton Prize Winners






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To be forgiven, you must first forgive.
—John Marks Templeton
Sir John Templeton

Templeton Prize Winners

How might humankind's spiritual information and advancement increase by more than a hundredfold? This is the challenge presented by the Templeton Prize. Just as knowledge in science, medicine, cosmology, and other disciplines has grown exponentially during the past century, the Templeton Prize honors and encourages the many entrepreneurs trying various ways for discoveries and breakthroughs to expand human perceptions of divinity and to help in the acceleration of divine creativity.

This award is intended to encourage the concept that resources and manpower are needed to accelerate progress in spiritual discoveries, which can help humans to learn more than a hundredfold more about divinity. The Prize is intended to help people see the infinity of the Universal Spirit still creating the galaxies and all living things and the variety of ways in which the Creator is revealing himself to different people.

The Templeton Prize is awarded annually to a living person. The Templeton Prize does not encourage syncretism but rather an understanding of the benefits of diversity. It seeks to focus attention on the wide variety of endeavors toward discoveries or spiritual realities research. It does not seek a unity of denominations nor a unity of world religions; but rather it seeks to encourage understanding of the benefits of diversity. There is no limitation of race, creed, sex, or geographical background.

The Templeton Prize serves to stimulate this quest for deeper understanding and pioneering breakthroughs in religious concepts and knowledge by calling attention annually to achievements in this area. It is hoped that there will result from this enterprise expanded spiritual awareness on the part of humankind, a wider understanding of the purpose of life, heightened quality of devotion and love, and a greater emphasis on the kind of research and discovery that brings human perceptions more into concert with the divine will.

For more information about the Templeton Prize, please visit

PhotoJean Vanier (2015)

Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, a revolutionary international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers, has won the 2015 Templeton Prize.

L’Arche encourages people toward mutually transformative relationships, where those who help are transformed by those they encounter. Vanier discovered that those people who society typically considers the weakest enable the strong to recognize and welcome their own vulnerability.

What began quietly in northern France in 1964, when Vanier invited two intellectually disabled men to come and live with him as friends, has now grown into 147 L’Arche residential communities operating in 35 countries, and more than 1,500 Faith and Light support groups in 82 countries that similarly urge solidarity among people with and without disabilities.

Vanier, 86, has extended his advocacy of belonging and social justice, with years of leadership efforts across the globe to nurture dialogue and unity among Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and other faiths through lectures, conferences and retreats around the world. His scholarship includes more than 30 books translated into 29 languages.

PhotoTomáš Halík (2014)

Tomáš Halík, a Czech priest and philosopher who risked imprisonment for illegally advancing religious and cultural freedoms after the Soviet invasion of his country, and has since become a leading international advocate for dialogue among different faiths and non-believers, has won the 2014 Templeton Prize.

Condemned by his nation’s communist government as an “enemy of the regime” in 1972, Halík, 65, spent nearly two decades organizing and building an extensive secret network of academics, theologians, philosophers and students dedicated to cultivating the intellectual and spiritual underpinnings for the democratic state he and others envisioned.

Those years of groundwork and counselling to liberation leaders such as Václav Havel and Cardinal František Tomášek helped Czechoslovakia transition to democracy following the “Velvet Revolution” of 1989.

Since that time, Msgr. Prof. Tomáš Halík has advocated religious tolerance and understanding through his writings and lectures by sharing ideas and beliefs among followers of widely varying cultural and spiritual traditions and, notably, non-believers. His approaches to interfaith dialogue include proposing that the long intellectual tradition of Catholicism well positions it as a bridge among diverse Western secularism, traditional religions and Islamic culture.

PhotoDesmond Tutu (2013)

Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, is one of the world’s most revered religious figures and a leading moral voice for peace and justice. His teachings combine the theological concept that all human beings are shaped in the image of God with the traditional African spirit of Ubuntu, in which humanity achieves personhood only through other people. His deep faith and commitment to prayer, worship and the life of the Spirit provides the foundation for his message of love and forgiveness.

Tutu became a globally recognized figure as a result of his longstanding and principled opposition to South Africa's apartheid regime. Then, after the election of Nelson Mandela in 1994 as president in the country's first multi-ethnic elections, Tutu chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Employing a revolutionary and relentless policy of confession, forgiveness, and resolution, the commission helped move the nation from institutionalized racial repression toward egalitarian democracy.

PhotoThe Dalai Lama (2012)

The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader whose long-standing engagement with multiple dimensions of science and with people far beyond his own religious traditions has made him an incomparable global voice for universal ethics, nonviolence, and harmony among world religions, has won the 2012 Templeton Prize.

For decades, Tenzin Gyatso, 76, the 14th Dalai Lama - a lineage believed by followers to be the reincarnation of an ancient Buddhist leader who epitomized compassion - has vigorously focused on the connections between the investigative traditions of science and Buddhism as a way to better understand and advance what both disciplines might offer the world.

Specifically, he encourages serious scientific investigative reviews of the power of compassion and its broad potential to address the world's fundamental problems - a theme at the core of his teachings and a cornerstone of his immense popularity.

PhotoMartin J. Rees (2011)

Martin J. Rees, a theoretical astrophysicist whose profound insights on the cosmos have provoked vital questions that speak to humanity’s highest hopes and worst fears, has won the 2011 Templeton Prize. Rees, 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, has spent decades investigating the implications of the big bang, the nature of black holes, events during the so-called ‘dark age’ of the early universe, and the mysterious explosions from galaxy centers known as gamma ray bursters.

PhotoFrancisco J. Ayala (2010)

Francisco J. Ayala, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, is known for his achievements as an evolutionary geneticist and for his opposition to the entanglement of science and religion while also calling for mutual respect between the two. He has been a major voice on the ethical issues related to the study of human evolution and a frequent spokesperson in the debate between evolution and creationism.

PhotoBernard d'Espagnat (2009)

From the mid-1960s through the early 1980s, d’Espagnat, 87, was a philosophical visionary in the physics research community. He played a key role during this revolutionary period of exploration and development in quantum mechanics, specifically on experiments testing the “Bell’s inequalities” theorem. Definitive results published in 1981 and 1982 verified that Bell’s inequalities were violated in the way quantum mechanics predicts, leading to a clear confirmation of the phenomenon of “non-local entanglement,” which in turn was an important step in the later development of “quantum information science,” a flourishing contemporary domain of research combining physics, information science, and mathematics.

PhotoMichael Heller (2008)

Heller, 72, Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Cracow, toiled for years beneath the stifling strictures of the Soviet era. He has become a compelling figure in the realms of physics and cosmology, theology, and philosophy with his cogent and provocative concepts on issues that all of these disciplines pursue, albeit from often vastly different perspectives. With an academic and religious background that enables him to comfortably and credibly move within each of these domains, Heller’s extensive writings have evoked new and important consideration of some of humankind's most profound concepts.

PhotoCharles Taylor (2007)

Taylor was born in 1931 in Montréal in French-speaking Quebec, the only Canadian province where English is not the majority language. Growing up in a Catholic home where both French (his mother's native tongue) and English (his father's) were spoken, in a province where language is a political touchstone, spurred an early interest in matters of identity, society and the potential value of thought that runs against the common grain. Though his first degree was in history, a Rhodes Scholarship in 1952 led him to study philosophy at Oxford, where he encountered what Taylor describes as "an unstructured hostility" to, among other things, religious belief. In reaction, he began to question the so-called "objective" approaches of psychology, social science, linguistics, history, and other human sciences.

PhotoJohn D. Barrow (2006)

John D. Barrow serves as Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, has used insights from mathematics, physics, and astronomy to set out wide-ranging views that challenge scientists and theologians to cross the boundaries of their disciplines if they are to fully realize what they may or may not understand about how time, space, and matter began, the behavior of the universe (or, perhaps, "multiverses"), and where it is all headed, if anywhere. His work has given theologians and philosophers inescapable questions to consider when examining the very essence of belief, the nature of the universe, and humanity's place in it. Barrow's engagement with frontier science and mathematics, developing multidisciplinary perspectives on subjects such as the mysteries of nothingness and infinity, and the potentially intelligible realms of the laws of Nature and the limits of scientific explanation, has jarred religious and scientific perspectives in such a way as to open pathways of understanding which may allow both to comprehend each other more fully.

Among his many achievements, Barrow was appointed Gresham Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College in London in 2002. Founded in 1596, it is the world's oldest science professorship.

PhotoCharles Hard Townes (2005)

When Charles Hard Townes suddenly figured out how to tame microwaves and, in the process, set the foundation for the development of masers and lasers, it changed the modern world. But, for Townes, who would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Physics for his realization that day, it was also a moment that spoke to a larger truth, about how the power of revelation—not unlike that recorded in the scriptures—evidences the similarity of science and religion.

PhotoGeorge F. R. Ellis (2004)

George F.R. Ellis, professor of applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town, is theoretical cosmologist specializing in general relativity theory, an area first broadly investigated by Albert Einstein. Dr. Ellis is considered to be among a handful of the world's leading relativistic cosmologists, including luminaries such as Stephen Hawking and Malcolm MacCallum. His first book, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, written with Stephen Hawking and published in 1973, continues to be a standard reference work on the subject. His most recent investigations question whether or not there was ever a start to the universe and, indeed, if there is only one universe or many.

Photo Holmes Rolston III (2003)

Known as the "father of environmental ethics," Holmes Rolston III is one of the world's leading advocates for protecting Earth's biodiversity and ecology in recognition of the intrinsic values of creation. He is University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University and a Presbyterian minister. His thirty years of research, books published in eighteen languages and lectures delivered around the world on the religious imperative to respect nature have established the field of environmental ethics.

Photo John C. Polkinghorne (2002)

John C. Polkinghorne is a mathematical physicist and Anglican priest whose treatment of theology as a natural science invigorated the search for interface between science and religion and made him a leading figure in this emerging field. Dr. Polkinghorne resigned a prestigious position as professor of mathematical physics at the University of Cambridge in 1979 to pursue theological studies, becoming a priest in 1982. Since then, his extensive writings and lectures have consistently applied scientific habits to Christianity, resulting in a modern, compelling, new exploration of the faith. His approach to the fundamentals of Christian orthodoxy creation, using the habits of a rigorous scientific mind have brought him international recognition as a unique voice for understanding the Bible as well as evolving doctrine.

Photo Arthur Peacocke (2001)

As senior lecturer in biophysical chemistry at the University of Birmingham in England, conventional church teaching left him disenchanted. Seeking an alternative to automatic acceptance of scriptural authority of the Church, he began a thorough study of theology, with the encouragement of a professor, Geoffrey Lampe. In 1960, he received a Diploma in Theology and in 1971, a Bachelor of Divinity from Birmingham University. It was at this time that his scientific and theological pursuits tangibly merged with the publication of Science and the Christian Experiment, which he wrote while still a full-time scientist with a research group working on the physical chemistry of DNA and proteins. In 1973, the book won the prestigious Lecomte du Noüy Prize, the first global recognition of Peacocke as a leader in the new discipline of science and religion. That same year, he became Dean of Clare College, Cambridge, allowing him to pursue more fully his interdisciplinary vocation.

PhotoFreeman J. Dyson (2000)

Of the many qualities attributed to physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson, professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, perhaps nothing more fully captures his personality than "optimist." Dyson has received 17 honorary doctorates bestowed by Oxford, Dartmouth, Princeton, Yeshiva, and other universities. Dyson has staked out his positions in several lecture series and books that followed, including his Gifford Lectures at Aberdeen, Scotland in 1985 (which led to his book, Infinite in All Directions), the Danz Lectures at the University of Washington in 1988 (published as From Eros to Gaia), lectures at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1995 (which became Imagined Worlds), and in 1997 at the New York Public Library (source of the book, The Sun, the Genome and the Internet).

PhotoIan Graeme Barbour (1999)

Professor Ian Barbour is one of the world pioneers in the integration of science and religion. His books and articles are helping to expand the field of theology not only for Christians but also for other faiths. A physicist and former chair of the religion department, Dr. Barbour is Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and Society at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Professor Barbour is the author of many books, including Religion in An Age of Science, Science and Religion, Issues in Science and Religion, and Christianity and the Scientist.

PhotoSir Sigmund Sternberg (1998)

Sir Sigmund Sternberg, a Hungarian-born British philanthropist and businessman, has consistently encouraged interfaith dialogue for decades. His behind-the-scenes diplomacy played a critical role in relocating a Catholic convent at Auschwitz in the 1980s. He also has been influential in organizing the first-ever papal visit to a synagogue, negotiating the Vatican's recognition of the state of Israel, and opening Vatican war-time files relating to Nazis and Jews. His leadership in promoting better relations between Muslims, Jews, and Christians continue to bring about extraordinary breakthroughs in interfaith dialogue.

PhotoPandurang Shastri Athavale (1997)

In 1954 in the villages around Bombay, nineteen of Athavale's most dedicated co-workers, primarily professionals, began bhaktiferi -- devotional visits to the villages to spread the message of love for God and others. Through bhaktiferi, Athavale and his co-workers developed the practice of swadhyaya, a form of self-study that inspires each individual to recognize an inner God, cultivate an increased self-respect, and abandon immoral behavior. By believing that God also dwells within others, those who pursue self-study can develop a loving relationship with all persons, resulting in a reduction of crime, the removal of social barriers, and an alleviation of poverty, hunger, and homelessness.

PhotoWilliam R. "Bill" Bright (1996)

In 1951, Bill Bright sold his specialty-foods business and began a person-to-person sharing of New Testament scripture on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles, calling his movement Campus Crusade for Christ. Beginning with a small cadre of converts, Bright led the organization through enormous growth to become a colossal set of ministries that reach around the globe. Campus Crusade for Christ International currently serves more than 650 university campuses in the United States and 470 overseas. His efforts near the end of his life included calling for worldwide spiritual revival through prayer and fasting.

PhotoProfessor Paul Davies (1995)

Paul Davies is one of the world's most brilliant scientists. He works at the forefront of research in fundamental physics and cosmology and has sought out those areas of scientific inquiry that made outstanding contributions to quantum physics and cosmology and has gone on to examine the philosophical and theological implications. As a result, he has initiated a new dialogue between science and religion that is having worldwide repercussions. Among his many books are The Mind of God, God and the New Physics, Other Worlds and The Cosmic Blueprint.

PhotoMichael Novak (1994)

Michael Novak, journalist, university professor, former U.S. ambassador, and currently resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, revealed revolutionary insights into the spiritual foundations of economic and political systems. His groundbreaking book, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, and other writings are credited with influencing such diverse personalities as Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher, Lech Walesa, and Vaclav Havel, all of whom have been drawn to his extraordinarily original thought. Besides being a pioneer in the theology of economics, Novak's writings, lectures, and commentaries have also extended the boundaries of religious thinking into aspects of culture rarely associated with spirituality, including ethnicity, sports, poverty, the family, and the moral foundations of democracy and capitalism.

PhotoCharles W. Colson (1993)

Charles W. Colson, the former Special Counsel to President Richard Nixon, began Prison Fellowship after serving a sentence in federal prison for Watergate-related crimes. It is now the largest prison outreach program in the world, operating an international network of prison ministries in 60 nations. The organization has made substantial gains in breaking the cycle of crime and recidivism through the work of more than 50,000 volunteers in more than 800 state and federal prisons in the United States, who reach one quarter of a million inmates each year. Colson died April 21, 2012 at the age of 80.

PhotoKyung-Chik Han (1992)

Rev. Dr. Kyung-Chik Han was one of the world's most successful Christian evangelists. Founder of Seoul's 60,000-member Young Nak Presbyterian Church, Dr. Han's fervent work for refugees and the poor epitomized the growth of Christianity in Korea. His experience as a survivor of the ravages of war and political oppression made him one of Korea's most respected religious leaders and a symbol of the evangelism that has extended the Presbyterian church to unprecedented numbers in Korea. His church, the world's largest Presbyterian congregation, has founded more than 500 churches in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, including the 5,000-member Young Nak Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles.

PhotoLord Jakobovits (1991)

Lord Jakobovits, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth from 1967 to 1991, spent over half a century as a spiritual leader of steadfast principles and unwavering ethics. Author of the groundbreaking book, Jewish Medical Ethics, he helped found this discipline of thought. Highly regarded for his extraordinary scholarship, his sometimes bold positions — including opposition to violence and polarization in the Middle East and his advocacy of education and spirituality to promote religion — extended his moral authority far beyond the Jewish community.

PhotoBaba Amte (1990; awarded jointly)

Baba Amte left his comfortable life as a wealthy Hindu lawyer to follow a personal calling, developing modern communities to help those with Hanson's Disease (leprosy) and other so-called untouchables of his native India. By building and funding hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers, a bank, library, post office, and cooperative shops, his community brings employment, education, health, and other services to citizens long denied dignity and compassion. He passed away on February 9, 2008 at the leprosy shelter he founded at Warora, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. He had leukemia.

Photo L. Charles Birch (1990; awarded jointly)

Dr. L. Charles Birch, emeritus professor at University of Sydney, Australia, since 1983, has been engaged in new and adventurous reflection on questions of science and faith throughout his career as a biologist-geneticist. He sees modern discoveries about natural science as expanding humankind's understanding of God as designer and creator of the universe and its creatures. He has been credited with the development of a new understanding of the nature and role of God for a scientific age and helping to reconcile the biological and the religious understanding of creation.

Photo Lord MacLeod (1989; awarded jointly)

The Very Reverend Lord MacLeod, founder of the monastic Iona Community, located on an island off the west coast of Scotland, spent his life reviving a prayer-centered spiritual movement that now has more than 100,000 supporters worldwide. This ecumenical community's work to encourage peace in the world and help common men and women through their struggles continues to operate with simplicity, depending on the scriptures to infuse new meaning to ancient ideals.

PhotoCarl Friedrich von Weizsäcker (1989; awarded jointly)

Professor Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker's work has explored the intersection of physics, cosmology, and theology, consistently putting him at the forefront of the reconciliation between religion and natural science. His several key discoveries in modern nuclear physics, along with his application of nuclear physics to astrophysics caused him to begin questioning the estrangement of religion and science and led to his investigation of Christianity's obligation to technology.

Photo Inamullah Khan (1988)

Dr. Inamullah Khan, founder and former secretary-general of the Modern World Muslim Congress in Karachi, Pakistan, devoted his life to working tirelessly to advance peace among Muslims, Christians, and Jews. This interfaith activism provided important, new opportunities to foster good will and understanding. In particular, he played a crucial role in helping to settle the war between Iran and Iraq and to bring a message of peace to formerly apartheid South Africa.

Photo Stanley L. Jaki (1987)

Benedictine monk and professor of astrophysics at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, Rev. Professor Stanley L. Jaki is noted as a leading thinker in areas at the boundary of science and theology and issues where the two disciplines meet and diverge. His more than two dozen books carefully delineate the importance of differences as well as similarities between science and religion, adding significant, balanced enlightenment to the field. Rev. Jaki died April 7, 2009 in Madrid, Spain following a heart attack.

PhotoJames McCord (1986)

Rev. Dr. James McCord, chancellor of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, and president for 26 years of the Princeton Theological Seminary, spent his professional life investigating the relationship between science and religion through his studies of the nature of reality. His center continues to serve as scholars' residence that encourages scientific and theological theories to be developed and then published in books that detail the findings.

PhotoSir Alister Hardy (1985)

Sir Alister Hardy, founder of the Sir Alister Hardy Research Centre at Oxford, England, began his career as a marine biologist, but went on to gain prominence for original empirical studies that for the first time used scientific methodology to investigate religious experience. He spent a lifetime seeking evidence of God's centrality to the human condition, in the process gathering massive amounts of information pointing out the key role religious experience plays in humanity.

PhotoMichael Bourdeaux (1984)

Rev. Michael Bourdeaux, founder of Keston College in England, spearheaded a laborious, often lonely struggle to examine and explain the systematic destruction of religion in Iron Curtain nations during the Cold War. From his time as an exchange student in Moscow in 1960, he worked to defend the rights of faiths in these countries to worship as they chose. When the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc regimes collapsed, Bourdeaux's efforts for universal religious freedom were embraced by authorities, evidencing the strength of his beliefs.

PhotoAleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1983)

A living symbol of freedom of thought and conscience, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's struggle for open expression makes him one of the world's most respected men. Under the repressive Soviet regimes, he held on to his beliefs and shared his worldview through his powerful writings and devastating critiques of the Soviet Union. His work renewed vitality in the Orthodox tradition of spirituality and evidence profound Christian faith, expressing a spiritual dimension long neglected by most novelists, and delivering a message of the unique and indestructible quality of the soul.

PhotoBilly Graham (1982)

When the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham took his message of Christianity into the electronic world of radio and television, he invigorated an entire generation with a simple, yet poignant message of salvation. During his rise as media celebrity, however, he maintained a dignity that continues to draw enormous audiences and enthusiastic support with an interpretation of the Gospel that speaks to the problems and pressures of today.

PhotoDame Cicely Saunders (1981)

As a longtime caregiver, Dame Cicely Saunders spent years close to the dull, agonizing suffering of terminally ill patients as they expressed their physical, psycho-social, and spiritual pain. From this, Saunders moved to found the Hospice and Palliative Care Movement, invoking a scientifically rigorous program combined with a unique social and spiritual awareness. The program continues to develop across cultural borders worldwide.

Photo Ralph Wendell Burhoe (1980)

As founder and former editor of Zygon, Journal of Religion and Science, Prof. Ralph Burhoe pursued a passionate investigation into the differences and similarities of theology and science, becoming one of the world's most informed voices in communicating this evolving research. Zygon has played an unparalleled role in the interdisciplinary pursuit of issues at the boundary of science and religion by offering a common ground for dialogue.

PhotoNikkyo Niwano (1979)

Literally translated, Rissho Kosei-Kai means "establishing the teaching of the true law in the world, mutual exchange of thought among people of faith, and the perfection of the personality." When Rev. Nikkyo Niwano and Masa Naganuma founded Rissho Kosei-Kai, they set forth on a mission that has blossomed from a handful of adherents into the world's largest Buddhist lay group of more than five million people. Niwano is also the founder of the World Conference of Religion and Peace.

Photo Thomas F. Torrance (1978)

Through his intense scrutiny of the relationship between science and religion, Professor Thomas Torrance, former Moderator of the Church of Scotland, became one of the first religious thinkers to win the respect of both theologians and scientists. His revelations on the rationality of the universe attempt to evidence God through scientific reasoning. Torrance passed away in December 2007 in his home in Edinburgh, Scotland.

PhotoChiara Lubich (1977)

Unhappy with the limitations of the cloistered existence for women dedicated to becoming Catholic nuns, Chiara Lubich founded and developed Italy's Focolare Movement as an alternative. Her community in Trent, Italy, dedicated itself to serving the poor. Soon, it expanded to include men and married people. It then spread to other Italian cities, followed by Focolare settlements in Belgium, Germany, France, the United States, Japan, and Hong Kong. She has underscored this legacy with longtime efforts to heal the theological breach between Catholics and Protestants. She passed away on March 14, 2008.

PhotoLeon Joseph Cardinal Suenens (1976)

Cardinal Suenens, Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, Belgium, was a pioneer in the research and discourse of the Charismatic Renewal Movement. As the movement gained popularity in the early 1970s, many worried what effect this ancient, biblical phenomenon would have on modern Christianity. The Cardinal's enlightened discourse on the movement provided guidance and reassurance, eliminating misunderstanding and offering thoughtful insight to followers and observers alike.

PhotoSir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1975)

Throughout his life, Sir Sarvepalli—President of India from 1962 to 1967—served as a voice of peace and justice. An Oxford professor of Eastern religions and ethics, he consistently advocated non-aggression in India's long-simmering conflicts with neighbor Pakistan, maintaining a defensive military posture as well as working to end political corruption in his nation. His lucid writings underscored his country's religious heritage and presented it in a way that made it accessible to all. He also sought to convey a universal reality of God that embraced love and wisdom for all people, regardless of race or religious belief.

PhotoBrother Roger (1974)

When the Nazis occupied France during World War II, Brother Roger, founder and prior (director) of the Taizé Community in France, harbored Jewish refugees. It was typical of Brother Roger's long history of helping the less fortunate. After the war, when he established the religious brotherhood known as the Taizé Community, he initiated efforts to aide orphans in the region surrounding the community. This led to the founding of the Council of Youth, and then the Intercontinental Meetings of Young Adults, which annually bring tens of thousands of young adults from throughout the world to pray and reflect in Taizé.

PhotoMother Teresa (1973)

Six years before Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize, she was recognized by the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion for her extraordinary efforts to help the homeless and neglected children of Calcutta. Founder of India's Missionaries of Charity, Her heroic work not only affected real change among those she served, but inspired millions of others around the world.

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