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Video: The Science of Forgiveness

Learn about the latest research in the science of forgiveness with Dr. Amrisha Vaish, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and leader of a project studying the development of forgiveness supported by the John Templeton Foundation. She discusses studies demonstrating that young children are drawn to those who show remorse, suggesting that forgiveness is a deep-seated and important ability for our species. So why do we all sometimes struggle to do it? This is the second video in our series of interviews produced by the independent media company Freethink. Watch the first episode here, which features…

WATCH: For Children, Saying ‘Sorry’ Is One Thing. Understanding What It Means Is Another.

Along with "please" and "thank you," saying sorry is one of the earliest phrases that many parents teach their children. They do this because it's an important nicety: people say "sorry" to show remorse, to ask for forgiveness, and to show basic concern and awareness of others' needs. But when do children really understand the significance of apologies? When do they begin to care whether a person shows remorse for doing harm -- for ripping up a child's picture, for example, or pushing someone to the ground? These are some of the questions driving the research of Dr. Amrisha Vaish, associate…

WATCH: The Importance of Imparting Forgiveness in Schools

How does the concept of “forgiveness” vary across cultures? Can it be taught in classrooms, and if so, how do we teach it most effectively?  These and other questions fueled a conversation among scholars at this year’s Forgiveness Forum, the third in a virtual conversation series hosted by the Templeton World Charity Foundation that explores the benefits of forgiveness for personal growth and global healing.   The virtual conversation, moderated by Time Magazine reporter Katie Reilly, took place during World Education Week, and focused on the connection between forgiveness and educational outcomes. Forum panelists included Dr. Peli Galiti, a visiting scholar with…

Explore the Science of Forgiveness

During the late 1990s, in the aftermath of the fall of Communism, Nelson Mandela’s election in South Africa, and an easing of the conflict in Northern Ireland, the world faced a new era in which former enemies tried to work with each other. Forgiveness took on new significance beyond religion, with which it had often been associated. The John Templeton Foundation issued a call for proposals that resulted in 20 funded grants, establishment of the non-profit organization, A Campaign for Forgiveness Research, which funded eight additional grants, and a total of almost $10 million put toward research on forgiveness. By…

Prayer, Relationships, and Health

Over the course of dozens of studies, Frank Fincham has compiled an impressive list of ways that prayer and forgiveness make a difference. Frank Fincham, who holds an endowed chair of the Florida State University College of Human Sciences, is a former Rhodes Scholar with an Oxford doctorate and a long track record of insightful study of relationships, religious practice, and health. In 2011 he was the recipient, as director of the FSU Family Institute, of a $1.13 million, four-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation to investigate the ways that prayer and forgiveness affect relational well-being and physical health.…

Love, Goodness, and Renewal | The Colorful Celebration of Holi

‘The Best Form of Self-Interest’

Video: The Neuroscience of Free Will

Watch our latest video, which features Chapman University computational neuroscientist Uri Maoz discussing the latest research into the enduring mysteries of free will. What does the neuroscience of free will reveal about how we make decisions, and what does that imply about our ability to consciously control ourselves and our future? Maoz is the leader of a major project backed by $5.3 million in funding from the John Templeton Foundation that sets out to test whether a robust understanding of free will can be backed by scientific evidence. Learn more on the latest research by reading this white-paper on the…

Promoting Intellectual Humility in Classrooms

A new project will help gauge how students feel realizing the limits of their understanding — and ways they can positively respond Much of the goal of education is about getting students to know things — to be informed discussion participants or well-prepared test-takers. But for education to be successful, and for students to flourish in the classroom and beyond, it can be equally important to show students productive ways of not knowing. Intellectual humility, which might be defined as recognizing the limits of one’s knowledge and being open to learning from others, has emerged as one of the central…

Video: What Is Life?

Have we encountered alien life already and just not realized it? Will deepening our understanding of life in the universe transform our understanding of ourselves? Explore the profound questions surrounding the nature and origins of life that propel the research of astrobiologist Dr. Sara Walker of Arizona State University in this interview. Walker is the recipient of a $2.9 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for a project, co-led by Templeton Prize laureate Paul Davies, to explore the transitions bridging chemistry and the origins of life. What Is Life? "Life is literally the physics of creativity," says Walker. "It's…