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Loss of His Voice Helped to Win Science-Faith Prize, Monk Says

May 16, 1987|Associated Press

LONDON — Stanley L. Jaki, a Hungarian-born Benedictine monk, theologian and physics professor from New Jersey, says the loss of his voice for 10 years helped him win a $365,200 prize for his writings on science and faith.

"A surgical mishap on my throat in 1953 gave me time to write and to think, and that's not always the case. Many writers of best sellers don't think at all," the scholar-priest said in an interview.

Jaki was presented with the 15th Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in a ceremony here on Tuesday. He is distinguished professor at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J.

His thesis is that Christianity created the intellectual climate that allowed science to flourish. He is a stern critic of the view that science and God are unrelated.

Jaki's 21 books re-interpret the history of science, arguing that there is room for deep and genuine faith in the midst of the most modern science.

An eight-judge panel headed by Prince Charles said it gave Jaki the prize for "throwing a flood of light on the relations of science and culture, and not least the relation of science and faith."

The prize was first given in 1973 to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and is funded by multimillionaire Sir John Templeton, an investment counselor and British citizen who was born in Nashville, Tenn., and lives in Nassau in the Bahamas.

Jaki, 62, who wears the clerical collar and black suit of a Roman Catholic priest, was at Windsor Castle on Monday to receive his prize check from Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

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