Law professor Charles Taylor’s 45 years of analyzing societal problems related to violence and bigotry have led to his winning the 2007 Templeton Prize, worth more than $1.5 million. Among Taylor’s conclusions is the idea that society’s problems can’t be solved as long as natural history and religion are divorced.
He disputes the rationalist approach that regards morality and spirituality as anachronisms, as well as those who use moral certitude or religion to justify righteous violence.
Instead, Taylor says, social scientists must take into account the human need for spirituality in order to understand the underlying causes of violence. Taylor, a professor of law and philosophy at Northwestern University, is the first Canadian to win the award.
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