Witty and thought provoking, two Vatican astronomers shed provocative light on some of the strange places where religion and science meet.
"Imagine if a Martian showed up, all big ears and big nose like a child’s drawing, and he asked to be baptized. How would you react?" - Pope Francis, May 2014.
Pope Francis posed that question - without insisting on an answer! - to provoke deeper reflection about inclusiveness and diversity in the Church. But it's not the first time that question has been asked.
Brother Guy Consolmagno and Father Paul Mueller hear questions like that all the time. They’re scientists at the Vatican Observatory, the official astronomical research institute of the Catholic Church. In Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? they explore a variety of questions at the crossroads of faith and reason: How do you reconcile the The Big Bang with Genesis? Was the Star of Bethlehem just a pious religious story or an actual description of astronomical events? What really went down between Galileo and the Catholic Church - and why do the effects of that confrontation still reverberate to this day? Will the Universe come to an end? And - could you really baptize an extraterrestrial?
With disarming humor, Brother Guy and Father Paul explore these questions and more over the course of six days of dialogue. Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial will make you laugh, make you think, and make you reflect more deeply on science, faith, and the nature of the universe.
©2014 Guy Sj Consolmagno and Paul Sj Mueller (P)2014 Random House Audio
I'm thinking of requiring all my astro 101 students to read this, for its beautiful discussion of how religion and science can dovetail and enhance each other. The readers have a strange pronunciation of Tycho Brahe that kept taking me out of the work every time they said his name though.
Yes, because it shows religion and science in their true light as complimentary disciplines and not mutually exclusive.
It was casual, witty, and yet deeply insightful
Aside from one passing reference to Teilhard de Chardin , which they ascribed no doctrinal weight to, I was pleased with the whole performance. I love when authors narrate, it is so much more real and you get that emotion that you sometimes miss in print.
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