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The Religion, Science, and Society funding area supports the discovery of meaningful and practical insights into the religious, spiritual, and cultural dimensions of humanity.

The grantmaking approach of this funding area is to support work that engages substantively and critically with the sciences on themes relevant to understanding how humans navigate spiritual and scientific questions within our diverse social and cultural environments. Our approach prioritizes interdisciplinary collaborations, including philosophical or theological engagement with the findings and methods of the sciences. Supported work should draw from a range of intellectual, religious, and spiritual traditions and demonstrate exceptional promise to transform human knowledge or have high potential to meet critical methodological or conceptual challenges. Broadly speaking, we are interested in asking questions such as:

  • What can we learn from the world’s wisdom traditions about living good and purposeful lives?
  • How are religious beliefs, practices, and communities changing and being changed by the world today?
  • What does it mean to be spiritual and how does this impact our beliefs, values, and customs?
  • How do we lead lives of meaning and purpose within the context of cultural and technological change?
  • What roles do religion and spirituality have on the health of our communities?

In the 2024-2025 funding cycle, we would like to receive project ideas on the following topics:

Meaning-making in the Modern World:

The goal of this topical area is to advance our understanding of how people develop meaningful lives and pursue spiritual flourishing in a rapidly changing world. We are particularly (but not exclusively) interested in interdisciplinary projects that align with the aims of the Spiritual Yearning Research Initiative (SYRI), which addresses the spiritual yearnings, existential concerns, and search for meaning of spiritually curious people who may not be traditionally religious. Examples of potential projects include those that aim to:

  • Examine how philosophical and theological research on specific moral frameworks or existential commitments might support individual and communal meaning-making and/or spiritual flourishing outside of traditionally religious contexts.
  • Facilitate empirical and normative research examining various dimensions of the “salience problem”: How does one move from intellectual acceptance of a moral or existential commitment, philosophical view, or even religious belief, to experiencing the same as a lived reality that enhances one’s sense of meaning or spiritual flourishing?
  • Achieve better understanding of which “spiritual technologies,” communities, philosophical views, and theological resources best address the spiritual yearnings of those in specific situations or contexts (e.g., non-Western cultures, particular religious backgrounds, specific developmental or psychological needs or features).

To apply for funding in this topic, please submit an Online Funding Inquiry in the Templeton Portal to Religion, Science, and Society – Spiritual Yearning Research Initiative.

Health, Religion, and Spirituality:

Our primary interest in this funding topic is to increase our understanding about the role of religion, spirituality, or faith in living a healthy life. We would consider, but not limit ourselves, to projects that aim to:

  • Support the continued integration of religion, spirituality, or faith within the practice of healthcare (including mental health and social services).
  • Facilitate community-based research designs that expand our understanding of religion and spirituality as a social determinant of health.
  • Examine the impact of faith-based organizations on the health of communities.

To apply for funding in this topic, please submit an Online Funding Inquiry in the Templeton Portal to Religion, Science, and Society – Health, Religion, and Spirituality.

Understanding Religious and Cultural Change:

The goal of this topical focus is to advance our understanding about how religion, spirituality, and culture are evolving across the world and transforming the human experience. We value research that explores religious and cultural change from interdisciplinary perspectives and at multiple scales, ranging from individual religious expressions to global religious patterns. Examples of potential projects that might be of interest include those that attempt to:

  • Better understand how religious and spiritual beliefs and practices are transmitted between individuals and across generations.
  • Build from economic principles of competition and innovation to examine why some religious and spiritual beliefs and practices are thriving, whereas others are declining.
  • Foster awareness around how changing religious demographics and identities influence public affairs and civic culture across the globe.

To apply for funding in this topic, please submit an Online Funding Inquiry in the Templeton Portal to Religion, Science, and Society – Dynamics of Religious Change.


In this year’s funding cycle, we are also interested in supporting projects that aim to make meaningful contributions to the foundations of human understanding and the creation of knowledge and practice. This may include:

  • Science and religion projects that examine philosophical, scientific, and theological themes across different eras or disciplines (e.g., “braided narratives”).
  • Research that explores conceptual and cultural contributions at the intersection of traditional and new ways of learning.
  • Cultural evolutionary approaches to understanding the patterns and processes underlying collective knowledge/intelligence.

To apply for funding in this topic, please submit an Online Funding Inquiry in the Templeton Portal to Religion, Science, and Society – Other.