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Our Common Cosmos: Exploring the Future of Theology, Human Culture, and the Space Sciences

This volume collects an international body of voices, as a timely response to a rapidly advancing field of the natural sciences. The contributors explore how the disciplines of theology, earth and space sciences contribute to the debate on constantly expanding ethical challenges, and the prospect of humanity’s future.

The discussions offered in this volume see the ‘community’ as central to a sustainable and ethical approach to earth and space sciences, examining the role of theology in this communal approach, but also recognizing theology itself as part of a community of humanity disciplines. Examining the necessity for interaction between disciplines, this collection draws on voices from biodiversity studies, geology, aesthetics, literature, astrophysics, and others, to illustrate precisely why a constructive and sustainable dialogue is needed within the current scientific climate.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Foreword – Carl Pilcher, NASA Astrobiology Institute, USA
Introduction, Andreas Losch, University of Bern, Switzerland, Zoe Lehmann Imfeld, Centre for Space and Habitability, Switzerland
Part 1: Approaches
1. Conversations Along the Way: How and Why Science and Theology Need to Interact – Markus Mühling, Protestant University Wuppertal/Bethel, Germany
2. Good Fences Make Good Neighbours’: Why the Differences of Science, Religion and Theology Must Not Be Blurred – Dirk Evers, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
3. Modelling the Relation between Theology and Science – Andreas LoschUniversity of Bern, Switzerland
4. Who’s Afraid of Reductionism’s Wolf? The Return of Scientia – Connor Cunningham, University of Nottingham, UK
Part 2: Interactions
5. Sustainability: Interaction Between Science, Ethics and Theology – Robert S. White, University of Cambridge, UK
6. About Continuous Creation, and Some Ethical Principles for Ecology – Fabien Revol, Catholic University of Lyon, France
7. Aesthetics at the Intersection of Science and Theology – Knut-Willy Sæther, Volda University College, Norway
8. Imagination as Co-Creation: Science and Theology Through the Lens of Science-Fiction Literature – Zoe Lehmann Imfeld, Centre for Space and Habitability , Switzerland
9. A Philosophical Outlook on Potential Conflicts Between Planetary Protection, Astrobiology and Commercial Use of Space – Erik Persson, Uppsala University, Sweden
10. The End of Copernican Mediocrity: How Modern Astrophysics Has Reinvigorated the Spiritual Dimension – Howard A. Smith, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA
Afterword: Our Place in the Universe – Tom McLeish, York University, UK


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