Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Historical Society Announces a Competitive RFP-Based Research Program

Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs: Exploring the Role of Religion in the Origins of Novelty and the Diffusion of Innovation in the Progress of Civilizations

With generous funding from the John Templeton Foundation, the Historical Society is launching a major interdisciplinary grants program in September 2011. It will provide $2.0 million in research support for empirical, conceptual, and interpretive work exploring the role religion may play as a driving force of innovation in human affairs.

The competitive RFP-based research program will award approximately 15 two-year grants of $100,000 each and a few larger grants of $250,000 to support archaeological fieldwork and traditional social science and historical investigation, as well as conceptually-oriented analysis.

Donald A. Yerxa will serve as the Program Leader for Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs. And a distinguished board of advisers will be announced this summer.

A request for proposals will be forthcoming later this summer. For more information, visit the RIHA website (under construction) at

The John Templeton Foundation ( serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. The Foundation supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. It encourages civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians and between such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional clarity and new insights. The Foundation’s vision is derived from the late Sir John Templeton's optimism about the possibility of acquiring “new spiritual information” and from his commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. Its motto, "How little we know, how eager to learn," exemplifies its support for open-minded inquiry and our hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries.


LD said...

Holy Toledo! That's a lot of clams! Congratulations to the Historical Society, and to the yet-to-be-named recipients.

Rudolph Aspirant said...

Can I ask you something, Mr. Randall Stephens ? How do you find the TIME to actually create this blog, which I assume you put a lot of knowledge and soul into, plus it is very esthetically pleasing, plus various fonts, and pictures, and stuff like that. HOW DO YOU HAE THE PHYSICAL TIME to do it ? I assume, based on the realtive apucity of commentaries, that it is most likely a lone effort, or maybe at the max with one other TA helping you for certain aspects, such as finding the pictures, etc.

Randall said...

roamsk: Lots of other posts from contributors help. We also don't tend to post on the weekends. But thanks for your kind remarks about the blog.