Dr. Gordon Graham, Princeton Seminary’s Henry Luce III Professor of Philosophy and the Arts, has been named the Theology Director of the Varieties of Understanding Program. The program, supported by a grant from the Templeton Foundation with additional support from Fordham University and the University of California Berkeley, will examine the various ways in which human beings understand the world, how these types of understanding might be improved, and how they might be combined to produce an integrated understanding of the world.

Graham, GordonGraham will direct the selection of winners of research grant proposals submitted by scholars in the area theology. The Templeton Foundation has allotted $250,000 for theology proposals, and Graham expects about sixty to seventy proposals. With the help of an expert panel, three to four will be selected for grants of $40,000 to $100,000 in support of projects not exceeding one year in duration.

He will also complete work on a new manuscript titled Practical Reason and Religious Understanding, which will aim to shift philosophical attention from arguments about God’s existence and the meaningfulness of theological language to the older topic of religion as a mode of practical understanding. “The interface between theology and philosophy,” Graham says, “has been dominated by the tension between religious belief and modern scientific knowledge. The purpose of this project is to shift attention from knowledge to understanding, and to recover the rich resources that are to be found in the variety of ways in which human beings have understood experience.”

Proposals are due by November 1, 2013. Research from the project, which also includes the areas of psychology and philosophy, will be presented at two conferences at Fordham University, one in June 2015 and one in June 2016. For more information, visit the Varieties of Understanding website.