2008 Templeton Prize

Religion / Science

Beliefnet has the news:

“Michael (Michal) Heller, a Polish cosmologist and Roman Catholic priest whose commitment to combining the insights of science and religion stretches back to his youth in war-torn Europe, has won the 2008 Templeton Prize.

[…]Heller, 72, is a professor of philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow, and has fond memories of discussing science and religion with a young Karol Wojtyla, the archbishop of Krakow who later became Pope John Paul II.

In prepared remarks at Wednesday’s (March 12) announcement of the award, Heller said he had ‘always wanted to do the most important things, and what can be more important than science and religion?

Science gives us knowledge, and religion gives us meaning. Both are prerequisites of the decent existence.’

In nominating Heller for the prize, Karol Musiol, rector of Krakow’s Jagiellonian University, said the scientist-priest has ‘brought to science a sense of transcendent mystery and to religion a view of the universe through the broadly open eyes of science.’

Heller’s current work focuses on the fields of non-commutative geometry and groupoid theory in mathematics. More broadly, Heller has been interested in such foundational questions as ‘does the universe need to have a cause?’ and has been able to engage intellectual sources from different academic disciplines, the John Templeton Foundation said.”

Read the rest here.

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Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...