Templeton Foundation awards $3.9 million to Villanova University

Templeton Foundation awards $3.9 million to Villanova University

Villanova University has announced a three-year, $3.9 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to investigate how the theology of human nature engages scientific approaches to humanity.

The largest grant ever in support of an initiative in the university's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will help fund Collaborative Inquiries in Christian Theological Anthropology, an interdisciplinary effort led by Jesse Couenhoven, a principal investigator in the humanities and theology departments. Under Couenhoven's leadership, the initiative will explore how the theology of human nature engages with biology and the social sciences, including concepts such as human flourishing, moral agency, freedom, and the development of virtue. The funding will support a team of more than thirty fellows, mentors, and educational advisors engaged in various activities, including six summer and winter workshops, presentations, publications and collaborations. The initiative has received nearly $700,000 in contributions from Villanova, the University of Notre Dame, and twelve additional colleges and universities. 

"Villanova is extremely proud that Dr. Couenhoven is leading the investigation of this critical topic," said Amanda Grannas, the university's associate vice provost for research and chief research officer. "This work is aligned with our institutional mission and belief that between true science and true religion there is no intrinsic conflict. This project will find new ways of relating religion and science, which ultimately will significantly benefit humanity."