Templeton Prize and the Dalai Lama

Just before the weekend, we had the good news of the award of the 2012 Templeton Prize to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Announcing the award, Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr., president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation and son of the late Prize founder, said, “The Dalai Lama offers a universal voice of compassion underpinned by a love and respect for spiritually relevant scientific research that centers on every single human being.”

The nine Prize judges, “who represent a wide range of disciplines, cultures and religious traditions” have recognized the Dalai Lama’s “remarkable record of intellectual, moral and spiritual innovations.”  According to the Templeton Prize authorities, “the judges evaluate – independently of each other – typically 15 to 20 nominated candidates each year and then individually submit separate ballots – from which a tally then determines the selection of each year’s Laureate.”

They have announced that the Prize will be presented to the Dalai Lama at a ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on May 14, 2012. A news conference with the Dalai Lama will precede the ceremony. Both events will be webcast live at www.templetonprize.org

In a video message to the Prize authorities, the Dalai Lama responded “in the humble style that has become his signature.” He said, “When I heard today your decision to give me this quite famous award, I really felt this is another sign of recognition about my little service to humanity, mainly nonviolence and unity around different religious traditions.”

There is a statement by The Right Reverend Michael Colclough, Canon Pastor at St. Paul’s Cathedral, on the Templeton Prize website welcoming the prize to the Dalai Lama. He says, “A non-violent voice of peace and reason in a calamitous world, the Dalai Lama represents core values cherished by many different faiths. The award of the Templeton Prize to the Dalai Lama under the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral will be a reminder that working towards peace and harmony is a practical and spiritual challenge to all faith communities.”

Valued at £1.1 million (about $1.7 million or €1.3 million), the prize is the world’s largest annual monetary award given to an individual and honors a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.

One can read about the award and watch video recordings related to it on http://www.templetonprize.org. I guess some times the best response to a baseless allegation is recognition by the international community. You know what I mean, eh?


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