The Science of Human Flourishing
April 1, 2015 - September 30, 2018
Core Funding Area:
Director: Professor Robert Stephen WhiteInstitution: The Faraday Institute
'The Science of Human Flourishing' is a bold and ambitious new project, bringing together leaders in the fields of science, technology and theology to examine some of the key elements that contribute to human flourishing. Science is taken in the broader sense of scientia, which encompasses the whole range of human knowledge. Unlike a standard research grant, this proposal deliberately spans a number of disciplines and seeks, in line with Sir John Templeton's donor intent, to gain new scientific and spiritual information that will enable human flourishing or, as he himself put it, "a better way of life for all humanity".
The project is based around three crucial aspects of human flourishing that are both related and overlapping: the quest for new purposive and future-minded understanding of the world, the recognition of the open-ended nature of spiritual enquiry, and the promotion of positive character virtues. The research sub-projects each seek to examine one or more of these aspects of human flourishing across a whole range of sciences (in the broad sense of the term) including the structure of the physical world in which we live, the nature of human identity and human mystical experiences, character formation in adverse circumstances, the relationship between ancient scriptures and modern scientific knowledge, and the notion of purpose in biology.
The academic research is combined with plans for dissemination of the new spiritual information that will be generated, thus forming an integrated and comprehensive examination of science and human flourishing. The whole project is centred on The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, which acts as a hub to coordinate, integrate and disseminate the research being carried out.
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