Alvin Plantinga, an American scholar whose rigorous writings over a half century have made theism – the belief in a divine reality or god – a serious option within academic philosophy, was announced today as the 2017 Templeton Prize Laureate. The Templeton Prize, valued at £1.1 million (about $1.4 million or €1.3 million), is one of the world’s largest annual awards given to an individual and honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works. The Prize was established in 1972 by the late global investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton. The 2017 Prize Laureate joins a distinguished group of 46 former recipients, including Mother Teresa, who received the inaugural Prize in 1973. Last year’s Prize winner was Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, who has spent decades bringing spiritual insight to the public conversation. He was preceded in 2015 by Canadian philosopher and theologian Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, the international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers. Czech priest and philosopher Tomáš Halík was awarded the Prize in 2014, Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2013, and the Dalai Lama in 2012.
The announcement was made online on 25 April 2017 at www.templetonprize.org and was announced via email to journalists and on Twitter via @TempletonPrize and #TempletonPrize2017 by the Templeton Prize office of the John Templeton Foundation in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
The Prize will be formally awarded at a public ceremony at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, on September 24.