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Charles Taylor, a Canadian philosopher whose work has touched on questions of spirituality, violence and culture, was awarded the 2007 Templeton Prize on Wednesday, March 14.

Taylor, 75, teaches law and philosophy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and is a professor emeritus at McGill University in Montreal. He is the first Canadian to be awarded what is often called the most prestigious prize in the world of religion.

The award — valued at 800,000 pounds sterling, or about $1.5 million — has been given out annually since 1973 by the John Templeton Foundation. The Nobel Prize, by comparison, is valued at 10,000,000 Swedish kronor, or about $1.4 million.

The foundation said Taylor has long been engaged in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary questions about the role of spirituality.

"Throughout his career, Charles Taylor has staked an often lonely position that insists on the inclusion of spiritual dimensions in discussions of public policy, history, linguistics, literature, and every other facet of humanities and the social sciences," John M. Templeton Jr., president of the Templeton Foundation, said in announcing the award.

Taylor's winning the annual honor — officially known as the "Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities" — appears to mark a new path for the prize. In its early years, the prize went to prominent religious figures such as Billy Graham and Mother Teresa. More recently, the prize has been given to scientists, theologians and ethicists whose work has been focused on the burgeoning field of science and religion.

In remarks prepared for delivery at the announcement of the award at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York, Taylor ...

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