invitation rfp grant award winners
Contact: Christopher Stawski
THREE GRANTS OF $500,000 EACH AWARDED FOR RESEARCH
Philadelphia, PA ( March 2005 )…Three distinguished scholars have each received grants of $500,000 to lead teams of researchers in order to create a new interdisciplinary field of “Spiritual Capital” research. The grants are awarded through a program of the Metanexus Institute on Religion and Science, supported by generous funding from the John Templeton Foundation.
The term “spiritual capital” refers to the economic and social consequences of religion and spirituality. While religion and spirituality are rich with various sources of personal meaning, they also have profound public significance. The Spiritual Capital Research Program will fund high-level research that could lead to new understandings of religion's role in economic, social and political life.
Winners of the invitation-only competition for the three founding grants in the Spiritual Capital Research Program were announced by Kimon H. Sargeant, Ph.D., Director for Research and Programs in the Human Sciences at Metanexus. “Now seems an ideal time to understand and assess the public effects of spiritual and religious action because there seems to be a growing openness in the social sciences towards non-material factors,” says Sargeant. “It is no longer unusual to consider that trust, behavioral norms and religion can profoundly shape economic, political and social developments.”
Principal investigators heading the award-winning teams and their projects are:
Each project is 30 months in duration, beginning March 2005. Results will be disseminated through scholarly and lay publications, conferences, speaking engagements and websites.
The Metanexus Institute is interested in supporting high-level, impartial scholarship on the contribution of religion – both for good and for ill – to economic and social developments. The aim of the Spiritual Capital Research Program is to catalyze the development of this interdisciplinary research field, which may become a vital new field in the social sciences.
In The Wealth of Nations , Adam Smith raised key questions for the economic analysis of religion and looked at the effects of competition among religions and the dangers of government of religion. Just 100 years ago Max Weber published his provocative work The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
Since then, social scientists have vigorously debated the concept of social capital, but spiritual capital – a sub-set of the field – remains relatively understudied. Only in recent years have leading scholars, including Nobel laureate economists Gary Becker and Robert Fogel and political scientists John DiIulio and Robert Putnam, called renewed attention to the effects of spiritual and religious practices, beliefs and institutions on economics, politics and societies.
In addition to the three funded projects that are just beginning, the Metanexus Institute has issued a new call for proposals for $150,000 research grants for interdisciplinary studies on the economic and social consequences of religion and spirituality. Letters of intent are due no later than April 15, 2005. Full grant applications will then be invited for a total of $1.5 million in research funds.
For further information on the Spiritual Capital Research Program, including submission guidelines for the new granting opportunities, or to request a program brochure, visit www.metanexus.net/spiritual_capital or contact project manager Christopher Stawski at [email protected] or 215-789-2200.
The Metanexus Institute advances scientific research, education and outreach on the constructive engagement of science and religion. Metanexus is a leader in a growing network of individuals and groups exploring the dynamic interface between cosmos, nature, and culture in communities and on campuses throughout the world. Metanexus sponsors dialogue groups, lectures, workshops, research, courses, grants, and publications. Metanexus leads and facilitates over 300 projects in 36 countries. Projects include the Local Societies Initiative, the Templeton Research Lectures, and topical interdisciplinary research projects such as the Spiritual Transformation Scientific Research Program, Spiritual Capital Research Program, Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology, as well as studies of religion and health, religion and human flourishing, and other endeavors. A membership organization, Metanexus hosts an online journal with over 140,000 monthly page views and 7000 subscribers in 57 countries. www.metanexus.net