Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?
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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.