Empathy, Altruism & Agape:Perspectives on Love in Science and Religion
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October 1-3, 1999, University Park Hotel at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts
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Path Home: Empathy, Altruism and Agape



Sir John Templeton graduated from Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford University. He is universally regarded as a pioneer in the development of high-yield globally, diversified mutual funds. His creativity and wisdom as an investor brought the benefits of top-flight counsel to ordinary people, transforming the financial circumstances of millions of small investors, with an outstanding record of sustained growth over several decades.

Born in rural Winchester, Tennessee, John Templeton once dreamed of a career in full-time religious service. His first major philanthropic endeavor was in 1973 through the establishment of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. Today, the Templeton Prize is the world’s largest monetary award at roughly $1.3 million. First presented to the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the Templeton Prize has been awarded each year recognizing a living individual who has shown extraordinary originality in advancing humanity’s understanding of God. Past recipients associated with the theme of agape love, altruism and empathy include Dame Cicely Saunders, originator of the modern hospice movement, the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham, founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Mr. Charles W. Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship.

In 1987, John Templeton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his philanthropic efforts, which included his endowment of Templeton College, Oxford. After selling the Templeton Group of Mutual Funds in 1992, he focused his talents on trailblazing new ways to create value and stimulate progress through philanthropy. Since then he has authored and edited over a dozen books. One of his most recent, Agape Love, is a brief examination of what various religious traditions have taught with regard to unconditional, unlimited, pure love.

A famous optimist who has learned from long experience to respect the power of unlimited love and joyful love to generate real happiness over the long term, Sir John continues to utilize his personal wealth to encourage discovery and greater understanding of unconditional love that it may become our aspiration, our expression of God’s love radiating through us.

Established in 1987, the John Templeton Foundation supports hundreds of programs worldwide which serve three chief purposes. The first is to stimulate serious, rigorous, progress-generating links between the sciences and all religions. Especially, the Foundation encourages development and scientific discovery in the spirit of a “humble approach”, which recognizes the wisdom of the maxim “how little we know, how eager to learn.” The second purpose is to promote appreciation for character-building as integral to a free democratic society. The third purpose is to encourage appreciation for the benefits of freedom, and free, fair and open competition as a basic principle of prudence and success in culture, religion, politics and economic life.

John Templeton Foundation
c/o altruisticlove.org
Five Radnor Corporate Center
Suite 100
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087

Phone: (610) 687-8942
Fax: (610) 687-8961

General Info: altruism@templeton.org
Press Info: thompson@templeton.org

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