Blog Post

Remembering Dr. John Templeton by Maria Montserrat Alvarado, Director of Operations of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

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Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

by Maria Montserrat Alvarado, Director of Operations of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty 

There are few more uplifting moments in life than realizing, that in some small way, you have truly made a difference.” – Dr. John M. Templeton

Today we remember Dr. John M. Templeton Jr., former pediatric surgeon and president and chairman of the Templeton Foundation who dedicated much of his life to answering humanity’s “Big Questions” through the rigorous study of science, religion, and human understanding.

Dr. Templeton created the Templeton Foundation in 1987, which is dedicated to understanding the unknown crossroads between science, religion, and philosophy. It’s motto “How little we know, how eager to learn” is a phrase rightly suited for such a man of unquenchable curiosity as well as the work he supported throughout his life. The Templeton Foundation has funded almost $1 billion for charities and grants since its inception nearly 30 years ago, all of which have been committed to the big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality, and often touched on topics such as religious liberty, gratitude and beneficial purpose. Among the institutions that honor his legacy and would not exist without his vision are the Stanford Law School Religious Liberty Clinic, the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences, and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

Dr. Templeton was a dear friend of the Becket Fund and was honored as the Canterbury Medalist in 2006, the highest award given to an individual for their courageous defense of religious liberty. Dr. Templeton strove to improve the moral character of humanity as a whole and did it with a humble generosity unmatched by his counterparts. “Many have heard me focus on the importance of optimism in the journey toward protecting individual freedom. Dr. Templeton was an unequaled optimist,” said Bill Mumma, President of the Becket Fund. “He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him, especially those of us in the religious liberty community who were encouraged by his dedication to progress and his faith in humanity’s potential.”