My Lords and Ladies, Dr. Kenny, Dear Friends:
Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of this award to inspire and enlighten man to the wonderful blessings of good that are ours daily because of the love of God for His children.
On this platform during the previous 14 ceremonies in this historic Guildhall sat the Revd. John Pearse who in his quiet meticulous way prepared much of the day’s events. John Pearse who died on 22nd February after a short illness will always be remembered by those of the Templeton Foundation as a man with an enriched faith in God, an excellent colleague and a devoted family man. We are pleased that his son Roger has taken his father’s mantle and is with us on the platform today.
The media is very often influenced to report the catastrophes and man’s inhumanity to man. This award created by Sir John Templeton was to show men and women of the world the results of love expressed and how it heals mentally and physically and the results of man’s search scientifically to learn more about the Creator and our relationship to this Creator. It was stated in the early years of this award a winner was an individual who had either expressed man’s love of God or man’s under- standing of God.
We are grateful to God and to the Board of Judges for in the last 15 years the recipients have all reflected those qualities.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, founder of the Missionaries of Charity.
Brother Roger, Founder and Prior of the Taize Community in France.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, former President of India and Oxford Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics.
Cardinal Suenens, Archibishop of Malines-Brussels and leader in the Charismatic movement.
Chiara Lubich, Founder of the Focolare Movement, Italy.
Professor Thomas F. Torrance, former President of International Academy of Religion and Sciences, Scotland, who is with us today.
Mr. Nikkyo Niwano, Founder of Rissho Kosei-Kai and World Conference on Religion and Peace, Japan.
Professor Ralph Wendell Burhoe, Founder and Editor of Zygon, Chicago.
Dame Cicely Saunders, Originator of Modern Hospice Movement, England.
The Revd. Dr. Billy Graham, Founder, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Mr Aleksandr Solzenitsyn, U.S.A.
The Revd. Michael Bourdeaux, Founder of Keston College, England.
Sir Alister Hardy, Founder of the Hardy Institute, Oxford, England.
Revd. Dr. James I. McCord, Chancellor of Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
The Board of Judges represents the major religions of the world: Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam.
This year the judges have chosen the Revd. Professor Stanley Jaki, a world authority on Physics who has offered the world a reinterpretation of the history of science, which throws a flood of light on the relation of science and culture, and not least the relation of science and faith.
Dr. Peter Hodgson, the Oxford nuclear physicist has said that Professor Jaki’s pioneering book The Relevance of Physics is unsurpassed by any other work.
Professor Torrance, a previous recipient of the Templeton Prize, has said that Professor Jaki’s work ‘provides the context for a remarkable argument for belief in God’.
It is Professor Jaki, the Hungarian-born Benedictine Father, that with the Judges we honour today.