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Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal With It?
     

Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal With It?

by David A. Weintraub
 

In the twenty-first century, the debate about life on other worlds is quickly changing from the realm of speculation to the domain of hard science. Within a few years, as a consequence of the rapid discovery by astronomers of planets around other stars, astronomers very likely will have discovered clear evidence of life beyond the Earth. Such a discovery of

Overview

In the twenty-first century, the debate about life on other worlds is quickly changing from the realm of speculation to the domain of hard science. Within a few years, as a consequence of the rapid discovery by astronomers of planets around other stars, astronomers very likely will have discovered clear evidence of life beyond the Earth. Such a discovery of extraterrestrial life will change everything.

Knowing the answer as to whether humanity has company in the universe will trigger one of the greatest intellectual revolutions in history, not the least of which will be a challenge for at least some terrestrial religions. Which religions will handle the discovery of extraterrestrial life with ease and which will struggle to assimilate this new knowledge about our place in the universe? Some religions as currently practiced appear to only be viable on Earth. Other religions could be practiced on distant worlds but nevertheless identify both Earth as a place and humankind as a species of singular spiritual religious importance, while some religions could be practiced equally well anywhere in the universe by any sentient beings.

Weintraub guides readers on an invigorating tour of the world’s most widely practiced religions. It reveals what, if anything, each religion has to say about the possibility that extraterrestrial life exists and how, or if, a particular religion would work on other planets in distant parts of the universe.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This is a valuable and interesting survey of how many of the world’s major religions think about extraterrestrial intelligent life (ETIs). And for those with an interest in, but limited knowledge of, these religions the book also provides a handy introduction into their basic ideas.” (Alan Penny, The Observatory, Vol. 135 (1246), June, 2015)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9783319050553
Publisher:
Springer International Publishing
Publication date:
09/14/2014
Series:
Springer Praxis Books / Popular Astronomy Series
Edition description:
2014
Pages:
234
Sales rank:
1,171,421
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Weintraub is a Professor of Astronomy and co-Director of the Scientific Computing Program at Vanderbilt University. He earned his PhD in Geophysics and Space Physics from UCLA. His two previous books, Is Pluto a Planet? (2006) and How Old Is the Universe? (2010), were published by Princeton University Press.

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