The project’s strategic problem is how to reconceptualize, address and apply the testimony of saints of all world religions.It seeks to establish a field of inquiry, by developing the conceptual category of “religious genius”, spelled out extensively in an attached document. This will allow us to approach the lives of extraordinary individuals through a new lens, not colored in specific ways, primarily Christian, like “saints.” Successful development of this category will put saint studies on a new footing academically, making them relevant to various sectors of society. Herein lies the strategic opportunity - to change the discourse, views and attitudes of different religious communities to each other, through the perspectives gained by means of “religious genius” and to bring new understanding and appreciation of these lives within their traditions and beyond. The present proposal is for a planning/pilot grant to develop the category, based on an initial concept paper, presented to the JTF, to test it and to see how applicable it is in various religious, interreligious and communal settings. It seeks to engage a significant number of scholars, in different capacities, to respond to the idea, to assess its chances of success and to help provide shape and orientation to what has the promise of being a major field in the study of religion and in interfaith relations. The planning/pilot grant will examine the category, its coherence, application and broader potential.
Templeton.org is in English. Only a few pages are translated into other languages.