Mr and Mrs Spalding founded the Trust in the early twentieth century when the study of different religions was neither well-established nor fashionable, and the Trust has recently been re-established on a modern legal basis to continue this work.
So today, the Trust continues to award grants for the study of recognised religious traditions of the world. Its objects are focussed on the promotion of ethical, philosophical and religious education, as far as possible throughout the world, through the support of inter-religious study to promote mutual understanding and respect.
Trustees award grants from the main fund - generally no more than £3,000 for any one grant - to encourage the study of a recognised religious tradition other than the applicant’s own or to study religion from a comparative perspective. In practice, some grants have enabled graduate students to study comparative religion at academic institutions. Others have been for travel either to conferences or to study a religion in the country where it is practised. A few grants have been to buy books for libraries. A small part of the Trust is allocated as the Ellen Rebe Spalding Memorial Fund.
The vision for this Trust and the Trust's history is recorded in:
Edward Hulmes, The Spalding Trust and the Union for the Study of the Great Religions (Memoir Club, 2002). ISBN 1 84104 040 1.
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