Spinoza’s Ethics and John Templeton.
John Templeton Foundation has not been without its share of controversy but it nevertheless has an established presence on the American intellectual landscape.
Well, I did not know until a random Google search that John Templeton himself was panentheist, which makes the quests of his foundation make even more sense as they were always varied but always tried to bring science and religion closer together.
A study will be finishing up shortly on the very topic so my ‘gut’ was correct I think about panentheism’s broadness (as having a space within most of the world religions it seems) and not overtly aggressive towards agnostic or atheist or freethinker positions
It’s not to say where I stand, just as I can’t say that David Lewis’ multiverse is my philosophy, but I can attest to the broadness of applicability which makes it pragmatic.
JANUARY 2020 – DECEMBER 2021
PANENTHEISM AND RELIGIOUS LIFE
Panentheism is the doctrine that everything is in God. How does this metaphysical view shape religious life? If we, and our world, are in God, what does this mean for us – for our understanding of God, our social relationships, our response to nature, our religious practice? While related JTF-funded projects have focused on doctrines of God, our project focuses on human life, and we will address key philosophical questions arising from the panentheist view of human beings as ‘being-in-God’. Sir John Templeton sums up our project’s central concern in his book Pure Infinite Love, where he quotes 1 John 4:16: “God is love and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
Our project will bring philosophical clarity to panentheist tendencies within all faith traditions by addressing five guiding questions, concerning the relation between ontological and religious panentheism; the concept of being-in-God; divine and human agency; love and virtue; and responses to suffering and evil. Central to our project is a research collaboration focusing on Spinoza’s Ethics: we will take this text as a philosophical model for panentheism, and elucidate this model to provide a conceptual framework that can be adapted to different religious traditions. We wish to explore how panentheism can promote inter-religious dialogue and understanding.
The project will facilitate an international collaboration directed by two leading scholars in the field, to produce new knowledge vital to Sir John’s inclusive panentheist vision. We will produce two books; run two workshops; and organise a fellowship competition that will generate new research and issue in ten original scholarly articles.
Our research activities and outputs will be disseminated via a project website. These outputs will provide scholarly resources to shape the growing field of research into panentheism, and the philosophy of religious life more broadly.