Tomáš Halík, a Czech Roman Catholic priest and philosopher, has collected the prestigious Templeton Prize on May 14, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. The Templeton Prize honours individuals whose exemplary achievements advance Sir John Templeton’s philanthropic vision: harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.
The John Templeton Foundation has highlighted the fact that Tomáš Halík risked imprisonment for illegally advancing religious and cultural freedoms after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and that he has become a leading international advocate for dialogue among different faiths and non-believers.
Tomáš Halík has collected the Prize, valued at £1.1 million, at St Martin-in-the-Fields which is located in the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square. He intends to donate the sum mainly to initiatives focusing on the dialogue among different faiths and non-believers. According to Lidové noviny, a Czech newspaper, Mr. Halík will put the money into his newly created foundation.
Tomáš Halík talked not only about the general questions of faith and the importance of an interfaith dialogue, but he also commented on the current social and political issues as part of his speech at the ceremony.