From 2007 to 2011, the John Templeton Foundation sponsored an award for the best doctoral or first post-doctoral works each year on the topic “God and Spirituality (as broadly understood)”. The award was announced worldwide, and altogether 60 young scholars received a prize of $10,000 each. They came from 17 countries, from different religious affiliations and worked in a broad spectrum of academic fields:
- Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Confucian Philosophy
- Religious Studies, History of Religion, Jewish Studies, Hebrew Bible, Islamic Studies, Hinduism
- Christian Theology: Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, Systematic Theology, Ecumenical Theology, Mission Studies
- Ethics, Environmental Ethics
- Religion and Science, Cosmology, Biological Theory
- Economics, Sociology
- Literature, American Studies, Film
Each year in May the award was celebrated at the University of Heidelberg, followed by a colloquium at the Internationales Wissenschaftsforum of the university (IWH). The winners of the prize presented and discussed their next projects with Heidelberg colleagues and some members of the board of external evaluators (which consisted of 26 professors from 19 different countries).
From 2013 on, the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise will be given to 10 young scholars from all over the world. It is funded by the Manfred Lautenschlaeger-Stiftung (Manfred Lautenschlaeger Foundation). In addition to the prize of $10.000 each, the winners will have the chance to propose an international and interdisciplinary colloquium on an important academic topic. At least two winners from at least two countries and at least two disciplines should organize and lead this colloquium. Each year two Lautenschlaeger Colloquia will be supported with 15.000 € each.
A complete application includes the following items:
- one copy of the dissertation/book on which the application is based (dissertation or first book published after the dissertation; original language)
and 5 copies each of the following items (all in English, please do not staple):
- the fully completed Application Form (left-click to display the pdf or right-click and "save link as" to download the file);
- a short statement describing how the dissertation or book addresses or fits the topic "God and Spirituality" (as broadly understood);
- a fifteen to twenty-page summary of the work in English (please insert page numbers);
- a table of contents of the publication (in English);
- two detailed recommendations by full professors in English based on the accepted doctoral dissertation or the published first post-doctoral work. These should be on official letterhead from the university and signed by the professor.
The Lautenschlaeger Award will only consider applications which are complete, that is, in which all seven items (31 items counting all extra copies) have been submitted together, including the two recommendations.
As a rule, the applicant should be 35 years old or younger and the dissertation/book should have been submitted or published within three years before the application.
Contributions from all religious traditions are welcome. Although the topic focuses strongly on the fields of theology, religious studies and philosophy of religion, interdisciplinary dissertations from all academic fields including humanities, social studies and natural sciences may be submitted.
An international, interdisciplinary and multi-religious board of distinguished scholars from different countries and disciplines will evaluate and rank the applications/nominations. Each application will be examined by three evaluators whose expertise is closest to the topic dealt with. Applications will be ranked on a scale 20-1 (20-17 outstanding; 16-14 very good; 13-11 good; 10-8 satisfactory; 7-1 not sufficient).
The deadline for the 2014 Award is April 30, 2013.
Please mail the application to Prof. Michael Welker’s office:
Manfred Lautenschläger Award
Should you experience problems displaying the Application Form
, right-click the link and choose "save link as" in order to save the form to your hard drive.