- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Taylor, a Canadian philosopher who says the world’s problems can be solved only by considering both their secular and spiritual roots, was named yesterday as the recipient of a religion award billed as the world’s richest annual prize.

Mr. Taylor, a professor of law and philosophy at Northwestern University, has won this year’s Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities. The award is worth more than $1.5 million.

In a career spanning more than four decades, Mr. Taylor, 75, has investigated a wide range of issues, including how it is that the search for meaning and spiritual direction can end in violence. He contends that relying only on secular analyses of human behavior leads to faulty conclusions.

“I believe that the barriers between science and spirituality are not only ungrounded, but are also crippling,” Mr. Taylor said. “The divorce of natural science and religion has been damaging to both, but it is equally true that the culture of the humanities and social sciences has often been surprisingly blind and deaf to the spiritual.”

The Montreal native is professor emeritus in the McGill University political science department and a Rhodes scholar who earned his doctorate from Oxford. He is the author of more than a dozen books.

Mr. Taylor will receive the prize May 2 in a private ceremony at London’s Buckingham Palace.

The Templeton Foundation of West Conshohocken, Pa., which sponsors various projects on science and religion, was founded by mutual funds entrepreneur Sir John M. Templeton.

The first Templeton award went to Mother Teresa in 1973.

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