The Templeton Foundation

I’m just wondering if anyone’s interested in discussing the issue of the Templeton Foundation.

I know there has been controversy over the funding of conferences, research projects and even individual scholars and institutions in the past, given that the founder, and, much more blatantly, his son, both maintain a strong core commitment to their own beliefs and values which are staunchly Conservative and Christian. As a result, some scholars (notably Daniel Dennett) have refused to attend conferences hosted with the  Templeton Foundation’s substantial and often generous financial support. (

My own interest in this is based on the fact that Templeton Franklin, the investment company (which is associated with the foundation historically, although I don’t know whether the funding aspect is entirely separate), has invested heavily in Irish debt, and possibly even had an influence on whether or not Ireland defaulted (since they were basically betting against it not defaulting – and so far, it hasn’t – in fact of all the European countries that have had to lose sovereign control over their finances, Ireland has been the most compliant, and its people the least rebellious).

Is this a philosophical issue? I don’t know. Ireland is a country with a Catholic majority (although the number of self-professed believers is slowly decreasing). Is this purely a financial transaction? Most transactions take place on the back of some ideology, don’t they, whether or not the people involved are aware of it? I’m interested because I live here and because it seems important to me that we talk directly about funding and ideology, since people raise it frequently in association with conference fees, or the institutional squeeze on philosophy departments.

I am watching to see what attachments this post contains: am I angry? I feel anger and frustration as a reaction to thinking about the possibilities that we are being manipulated and used in a great game of profit and exploitation, but I’m not a conspiratist, nor do I feel attached to these emotions. They arise, they flow through, they are dissolving, new emotions and thoughts arise. Yet there is motivation for action within yoga and zazen, and without attachment to any ideology, there is still the impetus to act. The activity of questioning opens up possibilities. This creates emerging layers in the potential for activity. This is all I want to use this post for. Now I will go and practice yoga and see what, if any, response this generates!


About Gamanrad

Therapeutic practitioner working on realisation as response to the ecological emergency (and all else besides).
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