The Dalai Lama has been awarded one of the world's leading religion prizes.

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader is the winner of the 2012 Templeton Prize for his work on science and religion. The honor from the John Templeton Foundation, announced Thursday, comes with a $1.7 million award.

The Dalai Lama is founder of the Mind & Life institute for research on science and Buddhism. A series of talks he gave at Stanford University led to the creation of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, which brings together scientists and religious scholars. The Templeton Prize will be awarded on May 14th in London.

The 76-year-old spiritual leader lives in exile in India. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for advocating nonviolent liberation for Tibet.