Popular Astronomy

Religions and Extraterrestrial Life

How Will We Deal With It?

Authors: Weintraub, David A.

  • Examines not only Western monotheistic religions but also Eastern belief systems such as Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism
  • Covers the history of the debate concerning extraterrestrial life and the current state of exoplanet research
  • Applies comparative theology to a neglected but soon to be vital question
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eBook $24.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-05056-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $34.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-05055-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

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.

About the authors

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.

Reviews

“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)


Table of contents (21 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-05056-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $34.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-05055-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Religions and Extraterrestrial Life
Book Subtitle
How Will We Deal With It?
Authors
Series Title
Popular Astronomy
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-05056-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-05056-0
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-05055-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 234
Topics