Religious Studies Prof Awarded Prestigious Templeton Grant

Religious Studies Prof Awarded Prestigious Templeton Grant

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Martin Nguyen, PhD, professor of Islamic Studies, and his co-investigator Maria Dakake, PhD, of George Mason University, have won a $234K+ grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

Dr. Nguyen, of the Religious Studies Department in the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield, and his co-investigator Dr. Dakake, director of graduate programs and associate professor at George Mason University, have recently been awarded a $234,224 grant from the John Templeton Foundation for their work for on a new project, “Islamic Moral Theology in Conversation with the Future: Cultivating Self and Community.”

781560508_news-at_october_martin-nguyen_250x300_10282021.jpgTheir project will bring together Muslim scholars and thinkers from around the world to explore the relevance of Islamic moral theology to issues facing the Muslim community and humankind globally.

It will explore how Muslim conceptions of virtue can contribute to a broader, cross-cultural conversation about human ethical challenges in the 21st century — from income inequality and unsustainable consumerism; to virtual platforms that enhance, but sometimes also distort, our human connections; to the need to create spaces that better connect us with our local communities.

The project will explore how Islamic moral theology should be rethought and reimagined in light of the way human beings live and relate to one another in the modem world. By bringing together innovative work around these issues, the project aims to generate a synergetic stream that incubates future-looking perspectives on human moral agency and accountability in light of new developments in science, technology, and culture.

In undertaking this work, the Ali Vural Ak Center at George Mason University will draw on its extensive global network of scholars, public intellectuals, and community leaders to broaden the conversations begun by the project, and will utilize its digital, public-facing scholarship platform The Maydan to disseminate project outputs to wider communities.

It also aims to produce various publications targeted to an academic audience, including online roundtables, pedagogical resources, and a special issue of a prominent, mainstream journal in the fields of religious ethics or moral philosophy to transcend Islamic Studies and create new bridges to mainstream philosophical discussions.

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