Religious Faith, Intellectual Life, and the Human Good
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, 2016 Templeton Prize Laureate; International Religious Leader, Philosopher, Award-Winning Author, and Respected Moral Voice; with Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence; Director, James Madison Program, Princeton University
An international religious leader, philosopher, award-winning author and respected moral voice, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was named the winner of the 2016 Templeton Prize in recognition of his “exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” Described by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales as “a light unto this nation” and by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as “an intellectual giant”, Rabbi Sacks is a frequent and sought-after contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world. Since stepping down as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth – a position he served for 22 years between 1991 and 2013 – Rabbi Sacks has held a number of professorships at several academic institutions including Yeshiva University and King’s College London. He currently serves as the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor at New York University. Rabbi Sacks has been awarded 17 honorary doctorates including a Doctor of Divinity conferred to mark his first ten years in office as Chief Rabbi, by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey. Rabbi Sacks is the author of over 30 books. His most recent work, Not in God’s Name was awarded a 2015 National Jewish Book Award in America and was a top ten Sunday Times bestseller in the UK. Past works include The Great Partnership and The Dignity of Difference, winner of the Grawemeyer Prize for Religion in 2004 for its success in defining a framework for interfaith dialogue between people of all faith and of none. In recognition of his work, Rabbi Sacks has also received the Jerusalem Prize in 1995 for his contribution to diaspora Jewish life and The Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award from Ben Gurion University in Israel in 2011. He was named as The Becket Fund’s 2014 Canterbury Medalist for his role in the defense of religious liberty in the public square. Rabbi Sacks was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords in October 2009.
Robert P. George is McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He served as chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), on the President’s Council on Bioethics, and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He also served as the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST). He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. His most recent book is Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism (ISI Books, 2013). His scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, and the Review of Politics. Professor George is a recipient of many honors and awards, including the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Canterbury Medal of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Sidney Hook Memorial Award of the National Association of Scholars, the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, and Princeton University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. He has given honorific lectures at Harvard, Yale, University of St. Andrews, and Cornell University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and holds honorary doctorates of law, ethics, science, letters, divinity, humanities, law and moral values, civil law, humane letters, and juridical science. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he holds J.D. and M.T.S. degrees from Harvard University and the degrees of D.Phil., B.C.L., and D.C.L. from Oxford University.
- Center for Theological Inquiry
- The Witherspoon Institute