Daniel Deslauriers Wins Templeton Award
The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) recently announced that Daniel Deslauriers, program director and faculty in the East-West Psychology Program, was selected as a winner of the 2000 Science and Religion Course Award Competition for a course he is developing entitled "Consciousness, Science and Religion." The $10,000 awards, funded by the Templeton Foundation, are given to university, college and seminary professors for designing new courses in science and religion. The competition is designed to support scientists and religious scholars from a range of disciplines as they address questions of science and religion through teaching.
In describing his course, which will be offered in Spring 2001, Daniel says, "Consciousness is considered one of the last frontiers of science. It is not a taboo topic anymore: this is where the action is! On the other hand, the issues raised by the study of consciousness are at the center of the science and religion debates. Spiritual practices such as meditation are slowly emerging as bona fide "first person science." This course is a bold attempt at integrating different discourses on consciousness- scientific and religious, East and West, philosophical and experiential. I believe it is the first time that the Templeton Foundation is funding a course with a focus on consciousness. I interpret this not only as a sign of the times but also as recognition of CIIS' leadership in this field. The course will draw on the expertise of our own faculty and I also hope to use the funds to attract prominent speakers and bolster our library holdings."
Dean Janis Phelps reacted to the announcement by saying, "For the East-West Psychology program this funded course will highlight the expertise within the program's faculty. It also enables the program to receive the honor it deserves."
Entries are judged on the criteria of strong scholarship, balanced treatment of the science and religion dialogue, and promotion of intellectual humility. CTNS, which promotes the creative interaction between theology and the natural sciences through research, teaching, and public service, is an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.