Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The John Templeton Foundation has awarded a $5.3 million grant to Fuller Theological Seminary's Thrive Center for Human Development. The grant will fund a three-year project studying "The Science of Intellectual Humility." According to a press release from Fuller, the project will help find answers to questions such as:
How do we come to hold and retain our beliefs? With today’s deepening religious, political, and societal divisions there are calls for tolerance, but can people simply decide to put aside the intellectual differences that divide them?
The release also states that
The three-year project will produce a significant volume of research with the goal of leading other scientists—as well as theologians, traditional philosophers, and experimental philosophers—to devote more attention to the subject of intellectual humility. The centerpiece of the project will be an open grant competition administered by Fuller's Travis Research Institute, which will award $4 million to 16 "sub-grantees" who will engage in scientific research on the nature, implications, and ultimate causes of intellectual humility and arrogance—resulting in a body of literature and two conferences that will promote dialogue and collaboration on the topic.
The project’s ultimate goal is to inform work in philosophy, theology, and clinical psychology in ways that will lead to greater openness, more civil discourse, and flourishing in human relationships.
Noble goals, for sure, and goals that, if realized, will help us be, in the words of President George H.W. Bush, "a kinder and gentler nation."