Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr., Alexey Chernyakov and Eric Weislogel
SPECRS Workshops for Academic and Civic Groups
St. Petersburg Education Center for Religion and Science (SPECRS), St. Petersburg School of Religion and Philosophy (SRPh)
St. Petersburg, Russia
Chairperson: Dr. Alexei Chernyakov
This society’s stated goal is “to provide together with the other LSI groups from CIS and Eastern Europe a common publicly known place of cooperation in Europe where scientists and scholars from the former communist countries could find the possibilities both to plan and elaborate research and by this to fulfill strategic functions in science, education, and religion in their societies.” This society is based in Russia, home to one of the fastest growing economies in the world. This growth, as we know, comes at a price, and there are ever-widening disparities in income and wealth. This economic upheaval calls for a new kind of education, one that pays attention to the moral and spiritual imperatives that come with wealth. Such responsibilities include philanthropy and support for charitable and social programs. This society contends that Russia lacks an appropriate understanding on both sides of the equation: organizations, research programs, etc., do not know how about development and fund-raising and the wealthy are not attuned to the personal and social responsibilities of their wealth. Thus, this society plans to organize “the first public discussion ever held in Russia to address the concepts of charity, sponsorship, and investment in science.” The investigation will operate on both a scientific and a spiritual level, and will promote a highly practical approach—a combination of something like “spiritual capital” research and practical fund-raising. Members of LSI societies from across the region will be invited to participate. We all know that the LSI program requires applicant societies to secure matching funds, and a program such as the one proposed here could well provide a model for assisting new and existing societies in their efforts at development, no matter where they are. We are excited that an LSI society took on this important task, and we hope to be able to support them as plans develop.
For further information or other inquires, please contact Metanexus at 212.789.2200 or [email protected]