Magazine article Anglican Journal

Scientist-Priest Garners World's Richest Prize: Helped to Pioneer Work on DNA

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Scientist-Priest Garners World's Richest Prize: Helped to Pioneer Work on DNA

Article excerpt

London

A British scientist who is also an Anglican priest has been awarded the 2001 Templeton prize for Progress in Religion.

Arthur Peackocke, 72, an Oxford University Theology faculty member, founded the Society of Ordained Scientists in 1986 and is the author of nine books, co-editor of five multi-author volumes, and has written 75 papers. Dr. Peacocke has also written 126 scientific papers and three scientific books.

The prize, worth $1 million US is the largest annual prize in the world given to an individual. Previous winners include Mother Teresa, Rev. Dr. Billy Graham, and Aleksander Solzhenitsyn.

According to biographical material, Dr. Peacocke had a traditional Anglican upbringing, but spent some time as an undergraduate "alienated from all things Christian". However, he said he began to view Christianity as intellectually sound after hearing a sermon by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple. He was also compelled to examine questions of evil when the horrors of the holocaust became public knowledge after the Second World War.

Graduating first in chemistry with first class honor in 1946, and later with a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford for research into bacterial growth, it was not until later in his academic life that Dr. …

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