Christian philosopher who fought for God wins Templeton prize

Thu 27 Apr 2017
By Eno Adeogun

American Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga has won this year's Templeton Prize, picking up a cheque for £1.1m.

The eighty four year old retired University of Notre Dame philosophy professor was awarded the prize for his written work, which has for over half a century made belief in God a serious option within academic philosophy.

The Templeton Prize honours a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension.

Plantinga has argued the existence of God in his works such as 'Advice to Christian Philosophers' and 'Warrant Trilogy'.

Heather Templeton Dill, president of the John Templeton Foundation said in an online announcement of this year's award: "Alvin Plantinga recognized that not only did religious belief not conflict with serious philosophical work, but that it could make crucial contributions to addressing perennial problems in philosophy.

"Sometimes ideas come along that revolutionise the way we think, and those who create such breakthrough discoveries are the people we honour with the Templeton Prize."

Plantinga's landmark 1974 'God, Freedom and Evil' is now 'almost universally recognised as having laid to rest the logical problem of evil against theism,' the foundation added.

Plantinga is the John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, where he taught for 28 years until retiring in 2010. He was a professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan from 1963 to 1982.

In a statement Plantinga said: "I am honoured to receive the Templeton Prize.

"The field of philosophy has transformed over the course of my career. If my work played a role in this transformation, I would be very pleased.

"I hope the news of the Prize will encourage young philosophers, especially those who bring Christian and theistic perspectives to bear on their work, towards greater creativity, integrity, and boldness."

He joins a distinguished list of Templeton winners such as Mother Teresa in 1973 and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2013.

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