Shalem Center Receives $1.1 Million From Templeton Foundation

The Jerusalem-based Shalem Center has announced a $1.1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to develop the Jewish component of a three-year philosophical theology project.

The foundation's $5.7 million Analytic Theology project, which includes Christian components hosted by the University of Notre Dame and the University of Innsbruck in Austria, aims to advance the use of philosophical methods in the study of religious topics and texts.

The grant will support a series of conferences and workshops, as well as individual research projects, that facilitate direct engagement between scholars, cross-disciplinary research training, development opportunities for younger scholars, and the dissemination of information to a broader audience. Provost and senior fellow Yoram Hazony will head the Shalem Center's efforts to develop techniques for the philosophical investigation of Hebrew texts.

"Although analytic theology has been, until now, a largely Christian enterprise, it need not be," said Michael J. Murray, the Templeton Foundation's vice president for philosophy and theology. "The emergence of a base for Jewish philosophical theology at the Shalem Center provides an opportunity for consolidating a real Jewish anchor for the project. We hope to see familiar topics and methods from analytic philosophy brought into discussion with traditional Jewish theology to help leverage new theological discovery; see the unique conceptual and methodological resources of Jewish theology brought into dialogue with Jewish and non-Jewish thought, and establish personal connections and collaborative work between Jewish analytic theologians and their Christian and, hopefully, Muslim counterparts."