Dear Spiritual Transformation Friends and Colleagues,
On behalf of the advisory committee, the directors, and the staff
of the Metanexus Institute on Religion and Science, I want to welcome
you to this webpage filled with information and links about our
conference on the scientific investigation of spiritual transformation
held October 5-7, 2002 at the Inn at Penn in Philadelphia, PA. Detailed
information can be found by clicking on the menu items in the red
menu bar at the top of the page.
This workshop was designed to help you develop and perfect your
research proposals and for all of us to enhance the quality of our
scholarship. We hope to achieve a kind of interdisciplinary critical
mass that will shed new light on this enduring and profound human
phenomenon. To accomplish this goal, we brought together diverse
and distinguished speakers and investigators. The sixty participating
investigators at the conference were chosen from a pool of over
470 applicants representing the leading research institutions from
all over the world. We also assembled a leading group of experts
from science and religion to challenge us from many important directions
and disciplines in order to further our insights and understandings.
These included speakers and consultants from our advisory board
and beyond. We invited a number of outstanding scholars, advisors,
and officers of the John Templeton Foundation, who joined with us
to enhance these important discussions throughout the weekend. We
were also supported by a wonderful team from the Metanexus Institute,
who worked diligently and with good cheer on our behalf.
Together we attempted to explore concepts, answer key questions
about the methods used to investigate spiritual phenomena, make
new connections among various investigators and groups, and establish
the groundwork for a more coherent field of study. This webpage,
as it is updated, will seek to further these goals, providing information
and resources from the conference and beyond. Please take a look
around and let us know what resources we can provide to assist your
We welcome any visitors who found our site through the WHYY broadcast
on the topic of spiritual transformation. The Voices in the Family
program, hosted by Dan Gottlieb, PhD. was recorded during the closing
ceremonies of the conference and can be found archived at www.whyy.org/91FM/Voices.html.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the enormous help and leadership
of the John Templeton Foundation in providing the funds necessary
to support significant field formation in the scientific study of
religious and spiritual phenomena. In particular, I would like to
acknowledge the specific contributions of Arthur Schwartz, program
officer, and Pamela Thompson, director of communications, at the
Foundation, for their strategic and critical support throughout
this process. And last, but by no means least, I want to thank Sir
John Templeton, for his vision and generosity in conceiving of and
providing funding for this unique program.
Solomon Katz, Ph.D.
President, Metanexus Institute
Principal Investigator, Spiritual Transformation Scientific Research