John Templeton Foundation
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The distinguished particle physicist and author John Charlton Polkinghorne, the winner of the 2002 Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities, was ordained a priest in the Church of England in 1982. He took up his new vocation in mid-life after playing a role in the discovery of the quark, the smallest elementary particle of matter. A graduate of Cambridge University, where he was a fellow at Trinity College and earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1955, Dr. Polkinghorne was forty-eight-years-old when he resigned his Cambridge professorship of mathematical physics to begin studies at Westcott House, an Anglican seminary in Cambridge. He went on to serve as a curate in a working-class parish in South Bristol and as vicar of Blean, a village outside of Canterbury. In 1986 he accepted a call to return to Cambridge as dean of the chapel at Trinity Hall, and in 1989, he was named president of Queens' College, a position he held until his retirement in 1996. A Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the Society of Ordained Scientists, Dr. Polkinghorne was granted the senior Sc.D. degree by Cambridge in 1974 in recognition of his contributions to research and has received honorary degrees from the University of Kent, the University of Exeter, the University of Leicester, the University of Durham, and Marquette University. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997 and is currently a fellow of Queens' and Canon Theologian of Liverpool. Dr. Polkinghorne was the founding president and remains a fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion and is a former member of the board of advisors of the John Templeton Foundation. In addition to an extensive body of writing on theoretical elementary particle physics, including The Quantum World (1989), he is the editor of The Works of Love: Creation as Kenosis (2001) and the author of another seventeen books on the interrelationship of science and theology in which he explores questions about God's action in creation. The Faith of a Physicist: Reflections of a Bottom-Up Thinker (1994) was based on the Gifford Lectures he delivered at the University of Edinburgh and Belief in God in an Age of Science (1998) was composed of the Terry Lectures he delivered at Yale University. His latest works include three books published in 2000, Faith, Science, and Understanding, Traffic in Truth: Exchange Between Science and Theology, and The End of the World and the Ends of God: Science and Theology in Eschatology (edited with Michael Welker), one in 2001, Faith in the Living God: A Dialogue for Troubled Friends and Educated Despisers of Christianity (with Michael Welker), two books that came out last year, The God of Hope and the End of the World and Living With Hope: A Scientist Looks at Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, and, most recently, Science and the Trinity, which was just released by Yale University Press.