Institute on Religion in an Age of Science 2024


Institute on Religion in an Age of Science 2024

Tags: Astrobiology, Astronomy

Time: 23 - 30 June 2024 -

Location: Location: Star Island, NH

Astrobiology, astronomy and planetary science — investigating Earth and local planets as well as planets orbiting other stars — invite us to consider life in cosmic context. This conference will weave together diverse interdisciplinary threads from the natural and social sciences and the humanities to consider the place and purpose of humanity in a context in which Earth might not be our only home and in which we may not be alone. Our plenary speakers (leading scientists, religionists and ethicists) will draw on cutting-edge thinking in astrobiology, including emerging thought on “habitability,” and astro philosophy and theology to consider many questions, including:

  • How would expanding humanity into outer space affect culture, arts and many other aspects of human civilization?
  • What impact would contact with alien life, or even alien civilizations, have on human religions?  Are ancient doctrines deep enough to grapple with the mind-boggling vastness of space?
  • Would our biology and anthropology apply to alien life?  What does it mean to be “alive”?  Would aliens be “intelligent” and “spiritual” in ways we could relate to?
  • Can we develop a concrete astroethics: moral principles in planetary perspective?  Would our familiar moral anthropologies need to become astroanthropologies to engage new kinds of beings?
  • Would earth-sourced colonists – to Mars and beyond – be so changed as to become alien?  Would our ethics need to become “astroethics” to prepare people for planetary journeys?  How might religion help and hinder the process?
  • What are the implications of “commercial” space exploration?

We invite all to engage in creative spiritual and moral speculation on a fast approaching future and fundamental issues that we confront in the present. 

Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute will be one of the speakers.

Note: Registration is required to participate in this event
Register Here