Biola University, an evangelical Christian school in La Mirada, has received a $3-million grant to run a think tank on contemporary Christian perspectives on such topics as neuroscience, psychology and politics.
The grant comes from the Pennsylvania-based John Templeton Foundation, which was founded by its namesake, the late Wall Street mutual funds pioneer, to help explore spirituality and links to other areas of scholarship.
The award, the largest academic grant in Biola's history, will help its new Center for Christian Thought bring together eight scholars each semester — four from its faculty and four from elsewhere — over three years to research and debate "important questions facing our culture," said center Director Gregg Ten Elshof. Starting next fall, yearlong themes will include the implications of neuroscience for the soul and how to foster civil discourse in the rough and tumble world of American politics, said Ten Elshof, an associate professor of philosophy.
The Templeton money, he added, "is allowing us to do exactly what we dreamed of doing with the center. We are thrilled."