Election recount: Theories of Everything author honored

April 4, 2006

Briton John Barrow, a University of Cambridge cosmologist and mathematician whose work explores the relationship between life and the universe, as well as the nature and limits of human understanding, has won the 2006 Templeton Prize.

At 53, Barrow is one of the youngest winners of the $1.4 million prize awarded yearly to a person advancing knowledge of spiritual matters. It was founded by British-born philanthropist-financier John Templeton. Barrow and his wife belong to Britain’s United Reformed Church.

Though the prize is often awarded to “elder statesmen” in the science-religion dialogue, Barrow’s win, announced March 15 in New York, recognizes a scholar in his prime. The author of 17 books, including Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation, Barrow is known for writing for a broad audience.

In an interview, Barrow said religion can learn from science’s view that knowledge builds upon itself, while science can benefit from religion’s insights about ethics and meaning. “It can be a reciprocal exchange.” –Religion News Service