Theme: Exoplanets, Aliens, and Multiple Incarnations? Christian Theology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life (SETI)

Michael Reiss, President of the ISSR, University College London, Presiding
Saturday – 9:00 AM-11:30 AM.  Hyatt Regency-Centennial G (Third Level)

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has been given fresh energy by the discovery of extra-solar planets and will receive fresh data due to the launch in 2021 of the James Webb Telescope. This session looks at the latest in the search for intelligent beyond our solar system, looking especially at the theological implications and theological motives of the quest for discovery. What does the search (and possible discoveries) suggest for Christian theological ideas of creation, the image of God, redemption, and eschatology? Is the image of God unique to planet earth? Do intelligent beings everywhere need revelation and redemption? Is one “incarnation” sufficient for the whole cosmos, or is the Christian theological vision best served by the idea of “multiple incarnations”? This session features an outstanding panel of authors who have contributed to three important recent books on the subject.

This event is sponsored by the International Society for Science and Religion, a multifaith, interdisciplinary, international honorary society. For more information contact Ron Cole-Turner at

  • David Wilkinson, Durham University, Science, Religion and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Oxford University, 2013)
  • Keith Ward, Roehampton University.  Christ and the Cosmos (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
  • Ted Peters, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, and
  • Robert John Russell, Graduate Theological Union, coauthors of Astrotheology: Science and Theology Meet Extraterrestrial Life (Cascade, 2018)