Dalai Lama Wins Templeton
Prize for Work on Science, Religion
BY CHRIS HERLINGER ©2012 Religion News Service
The Dalai Lama, whose long had an intense but quiet interest in the intersection of science and religion, won the 2012 Templeton Prize on March 29, a $1.7 million award that is often described as the most prestigious award in religion.
The Dalai Lama is the highest-profile winner of an award that in recent years had been given to physicists and theologians not well known to the general public, but earlier had been given to the likes of evangelist Billy Graham and the late Mother Teresa.
"With an increasing reliance on technological advances to solve the world's problems, humanity also seeks the reassurance that only a spiritual quest can answer," said John M. Templeton, Jr., the president and chairman of the Pennsylvania-based John Templeton Foundation and the son of Sir John Templeton, who founded the prize in 1972.
"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."
For his part, the Dalai Lama, in a video statement, struck a modest note. He said he was nothing more than "a simple Buddhist monk," despite the 2012 Templeton or his 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.
The Templeton honor, he said, was "another sign of recognition about my little service to humanity, mainly, nonviolence and unity around different religious traditions."
The Templeton Prize--the world's largest annual monetary award given to a single individual--will be presented to the Dalai Lama at a May 14 ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.