Space.com includes an essay with the intriguing title "Are Alien's Part of God's Plan Too?: Finding E.T. Could Change Religion Forever." The essay mentions a gathering of "Christian thinkers" at the 100 Year Starship Symposium that considered the ramifications of intergalactic travel. As one of the participants put it in regards to the theological aspects of the symposium:
In other words, "Did Jesus die for Klingons too?" as philosophy professor Christian Weidemannof Germany's Ruhr-University Bochum titled his talk at a panel on the philosophical and religious considerations of visiting other worlds.
This issue is a pressing one for theologians who interact with contemporary cosmology and astronomy, and it presents challenges not only to assumptions about life on earth and its relation to the divine, but also about soteriology and incarnation.
See the previous post of mine on "An Astrotheology of Extraterrestrial Life" and a presentation by theologian Ted Peters on the issue that relates to this topic.
I take a lesson from evolution on this. Note that the ability to fly has evolved at least three times in earth's history. First, I suppose, were the insects. Second came the dinosaurs that flew and became birds. Lastly, some mammals developed the ability to fly, for instance, the bats. So it appears that the structure of reality necessitates that creatures will fly. By analogy, it is my conjecture that it is also in the structure of reality that on other worlds, sentient life will have a corresponding Buddha, Mohammed, and Jesus Christ.
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