Win­ner: Science mustn’t be blind to spirit

The Commercial Appeal - - News & Notes - By Manya Brac­hear

CHICAGO — A North­west­ern Univer­sity phi­los­o­phy pro­fes­sor re­ceived the world’s rich­est re­li­gion prize Wed­nes­day.

Charles Tay­lor, a Cana­dian philoso­pher who for nearly half a cen­tury has ex­plored the spir­i­tual ori­gins of vi­o­lence and big­otry, will re­ceive $1.5 mil­lion from the John Tem­ple­ton Foun­da­tion, which awards progress and re­search in spir­i­tual mat­ters.

“The di­vorce of nat­u­ral science and re­li­gion has been dam­ag­ing to both,” Tay­lor said in ac­cept­ing the award in New York. “But it is equally true that the cul­ture of the hu­man­i­ties and so­cial sci­ences has of­ten been sur­pris­ingly blind and deaf to the spir­i­tual, and that in my case, the at­tempt to break down th­ese bar­ri­ers is be­ing rec­og­nized and hon­ored.”

The Tem­ple­ton Prize was cre­ated in 1972 by phi­lan­thropist Sir John Marks Tem­ple­ton, with the stip­u­la­tion that its mone­tary value al­ways ex­ceed that of the No­bel Prize. Six of the last seven win­ners have been sci­en­tists.

Tay­lor, 75, teaches phi­los­o­phy and law at North­west­ern Univer­sity. He is best known for ques­tion­ing the role of spir­i­tual “The di­vorce of nat­u­ral science and re­li­gion has been dam­ag­ing to both,” philoso­pher Charles Tay­lor says. think­ing in the 21st cen­tury. For more than 45 years, he has ar­gued that re­ly­ing solely on sec­u­lar­ized view­points only leads to frag­mented, faulty re­sults. He has said such an approach only per­pet­u­ates clashes of cul­ture, moral­ity, na­tion­al­i­ties and reli­gions.

A Rhodes Scholar, Tay­lor is the first Cana­dian to win the Tem­ple­ton Prize.

Irena Sendler saved nearly 2,500 Jewish chil­dren from the Nazis, or­ga­niz­ing a ring of 20 Poles to smug­gle them out of the War­saw Ghetto in bas­kets and am­bu­lances.

The Nazis ar­rested her, but she didn’t talk un­der tor­ture. Af­ter she sur­vived the war, she ex­pressed re­gret — for do­ing too lit­tle.

Law­mak­ers in Poland’s Se­nate dis­agreed Wed­nes­day, unan­i­mously pass­ing a res­o­lu­tion honor­ing her and the Pol­ish un­der­ground’s Coun­cil for As­sist­ing Jews, of which her ring of mostly Ro­man Catholics was a part.

Sendler is now 97 and lives in a nurs­ing home. She was too frail to at­tend but sent a let­ter that was read by a Holo­caust sur­vivor. Irena Sendler

A jury de­cided Wed­nes­day that a con­victed sex of­fender should get the death penalty for the kid­nap­ping, rape and mur­der of 9year-old Jes­sica Lunsford, who was buried alive in trash bags just yards from her home.

The jury, on a 10-2 vote, brushed aside pleas for mercy and a life sen­tence from de­fense lawyers based on claims that John Evan­der Couey , 48, is men­tally re­tarded and suf­fers from chronic men­tal ill­ness. Ju­rors de­lib­er­ated for about one hour.

A fed­eral ap­peals court ruled Wed­nes­day that the gov­ern­ment does not have to turn over ev­i­dence from the trial of Sept. 11 con­spir­a­tor Zacarias Mous­saoui to fam­ily mem­bers of those killed in the ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

The three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals said a Vir­ginia judge lacked author­ity to or­der the gov­ern­ment to pro­vide the ev­i­dence for use in law­suits against air­lines and oth­ers.

Mary Altafer/As­so­ci­ated Press

John Evan­der Couey

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