The John Templeton Foundation has announced a three-year, $3 million grant to Biola University, a private Christian university in Southern California, in support of the school’s efforts to bring scholars together to research, collaborate, and write about important questions facing Christianity in the twenty-first century.

Part of the foundation’s efforts to promote research and informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, theologians, and the public on subjects it deems to be of importance, the grant to the university’s Center for Christian Thought will be used to produce research and resources that offer a Christian perspective on topics such as how neuroscience informs our understanding of the soul, how contemporary psychology relates to spiritual growth, and how to foster intellectual virtue and civil discourse. The center, which is set to launch in February, seeks to serve as a laboratory for Christian scholars and a resource for society.

During the center’s inaugural semester, philosophers Alvin Plantinga of Calvin College and Nicholas Wolterstorff of Yale University will serve as visiting scholars, joining a team of eight research fellows who will focus on the theme of “Christian Scholarship in the 21st Century: Prospects and Perils.” Participants will examine the role of Christian scholarship in today’s world and seek to identify issues of particular importance for Christian scholars in years ahead.

“The goals of the center, and the strong team of leaders that have been assembled to pursue these goals, make this a very exciting endeavor,” said John Churchill, director of philosophy and theology at the Templeton Foundation. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Biola on this undertaking, and we’re confident that the center will have a significant influence on the academy, the church, and beyond.”

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