God and astrobiology

Richard Playford, Stephen Bullivant, Janet Siefert

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The perception that life on other planets would be, problematic for religious people, and indeed for religion itself, is a longstanding one. It is partially rooted in fact: astrobiological speculations have, on occasion, engendered religious controversies. Historical discussions are often far more nuanced, and less one-sided than often imagined. 'Exotheology' is a lively subdiscipline within several religious traditions. This Element offers a wide-ranging introduction to the multifarious 'problems of God and astrobiology', real and perceived. It covers major topics within Christian theology (e.g., creation, incarnation, salvation), as well as issues specific to Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. It also discusses the very different perspectives offered by other (non)religious traditions, including Mormonism, various 'alien-positive' new religious movements (e.g., Heaven's Gate, Scientology, Raëlism), and the 'Ancient Astronaunt' theories popularized by Erich von Dāniken and the History channel's Ancient Aliens.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages74
ISBN (Electronic)9781009296175
ISBN (Print)9781009296144
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2024

Publication series

NameCambridge Elements: The Problems of God
PublisherCambridge University Press


Dive into the research topics of 'God and astrobiology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Regional Network Grant

    Playford, R. (Recipient), 2021

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Cite this