Science and Religion:
Theology, Astrophysics, and the SETI-Project

The consequences of astrophysics and the SETI-Project for Christian theology:
Cosmotheology:  A concept of theology with validity in the universe
A new understanding of the meaning of life, purpose, and one's own direction to pursue (Chapter 2.2 Part II)
(See also the essay "Religion: What is Religion? What Should Religion Be?")

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Abstract:
The discovery of natural evolution necessitated a revision of the concept of Creation and the image of God as a loving Father.  Now, space research supposes intelligent life on other celestial bodies (SETI project).  Astrophysics recognized the future disappearance of all cosmic structures. What does this mean for Christian theology? The concepts of Original Sin, the sacrifice of Christ for our redemption, Last Judgment, and Paradise may need revision. This could lead to a "universal" core of faith and a new vision of the meaning of our lives.

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction

1.1 Science and theology in dynamic interaction
1.2 The additional perspective of astrophysics and space exploration
2. Theology Confronted by Astrophysics and the Exploration of Outer Space
2.1 How Do Religions and Theology Interpret Our Existence?
The three basic concerns of religion:
God: The five aspects of the quest for God:
God the creator
The participating God
The personal God
The judging God and the soul's existence after death
The evil, suffering and useless in the world
The Law
The Meaning or Plan of Existence and of Human Life
2.2 The Understanding of Existence Resulting from Astrophysics and Space Exploration
Part I:
God: The five aspects of the quest for God:
God the creator
The participating God
The personal God
The judging God and the soul's existence after death
The evil, suffering and useless in the world
Part II:
The Law
The Meaning or Plan of Existence and of Human Life
The validity of specific concepts of faith
2.3 What remains for a Theology in the Universe?
3. Comments regarding the Phenomenon of "Religion"

4. My Position

5. Concluding Summary


© 2002 Helmut Schwab