Yale University.

YDS Home>News>scholar

Again, a YDS scholar receives John Templeton Award for Theological Promise

For the second year in a row, a member of the Yale Divinity School faculty has been awarded a John Templeton Award for Theological Promise, a prize given annually to 12 young scholars from around the globe.  This year’s list of recipients includes Christopher Beeley, the Walter H. Gray Associate Professor of Anglican Studies and Patristics at Yale Divinity School.  In 2009 one of the awardees was Willis Jenkins, the Margaret A. Farley Assistant Professor of Social Ethics.

BeeleyBeeley was selected for the award based on his recent book, Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God: “In Your Light We Shall See Light.” (Oxford University Press, 2008).  The award includes a $10,000 prize and an additional stipend of $10,000 for public lectures given at the invitation of an academic institution.

The announcement of this year’s winners called Beeley’s volume a “groundbreaking study” that “shows the spiritual and pastoral import of Gregory’s theology and the theological substance of his spirituality.”  Gregory of Nazianzus was a fourth century theologian and Cappadocian Father and the definitive teacher on the Trinity in the Eastern Christian tradition.  His eloquent preaching in Constantinople at the Church of the Anastasis was considered a strong influence in restoration of the Nicene faith.

Beeley’s primary research interests are in early Christian theology, biblical interpretation, spirituality, and classical Anglicanism.  He is on sabbatical from YDS in 2009-10 and is working on two books: A large-scale reassessment of patristic tradition focusing on the doctrine and worship of Christ among major Greek, Latin, and Oriental theologians, communities, and church councils between 300 and 800; and a book on the basic principles of early Christian pastoral leadership, written for clergy, seminarians, and lay leaders of today's Christian churches of all denominations.

Beeley is on the editorial board of the Anglican Theological Review and is a member of the board of directors of the North American Patristic Society and the Society of Biblical Literature. At Yale he teaches early Christian theology and Anglican theology, and he is involved in Berkeley Divinity School’s Anglican formation program. An Episcopal priest, he has served parishes in Texas, Indiana, Virginia, and the New Haven area, and he is active on the diocesan and national levels.

He earned a B.A. at Washington and Lee University, an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

The John Templeton Foundation, based in West Conshohocken, PA, calls itself “a philanthropic catalyst for research relating to what scientists and philosophers call the Big Questions.”  The Award for Theological Promised is administered at the Research Center of International and Interdisciplinary Theology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.