Intersections of Religion and Astronomy  book cover
1st Edition

Intersections of Religion and Astronomy

ISBN 9780367369460
Published November 2, 2020 by Routledge
242 Pages

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

This volume examines the way in which cultural ideas about "the heavens" shape religious ideas and are shaped by them in return. Our approaches to cosmology have a profound effect on the way in which we each deal with religious questions and participate in the imaginative work of public and private world-building.

Employing an interdisciplinary team of international scholars, each chapter shows how religion and cosmology interrelate and matter for real people. Historical and contemporary case studies are included to demonstrate the lived reality of a variety of faith traditions and their interactions with the cosmos. This breadth of scope allows readers to get a unique overview of how religion, science and our view of space have, and will continue to, impact our worldviews.

Offering a comprehensive exploration of humanity and its relationship with cosmology, this book will be an important reference for scholars of Religion and Science, Religion and Culture, Interreligious Dialogue and Theology, as well as those interested in Science and Culture and Public Education.

Table of Contents


Part 1 Intersections of Astronomy and Religion: Ancient and Post-Ancient Worlds

1 Religion and Cosmology

John T. Fitzgerald

2 Calling Down the Spirits in the Sky: Blackfoot Astronomy and Sense of The Sacred

Eldon Yellowhorn

3 To Reverently Bestow the Seasons: Calendrical Narratives in Early China and Rome.

Rebecca Robinson

4 Celestial Deities in the Flat-Earth Buddhist Cosmos and Astrology

Jeffrey Kotyk

5 Early Islamic Encounters with the Rains Stars of pre-Islamic Arabian Astronomy

Danielle Adams

6 Cosmology and Religious Culture in Jewish and Byzantine Art

Shulamit Laderman

7 In Search of the Stars of David: Situating the Rabbinic Jewish Astronomical Tradition in World Cultural Astronomy Scholarship

Andrea D. Lobel

Part 2 The European Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution

8 The Cosmos of a Big God: Brahe, Kepler, Bruno and the Sizes of the Stars in a Copernican Universe

Christopher M. Graney

9 Apocalyptic Themes in Isaac Newton’s Astronomical Physics

Stephen D. Snobelen

10 Georges Lemaître’s Dual Life in Cosmology and Theology

Simon Mitton and Rodney D. Holder

11 Albert Einstein’s Cosmic Religion

Nicholas Campion

Part 3 The Modern World

12 Market Predictions: Astrology in Modern India

Parna Sengupta

13 Faster than the Speed of NASA: The Tenth Planet, Prophecy and the Universalization of a Gujarati Village Goddess

Darry Dinnell

14 Radiance and Darkness: Japanese Buddhist Cosmographies

Melissa Anne-Marie Curley

15 Abductions Angelic and Alien: The Changing Cosmologies of Otherworldly Journeys

James F. McGrath

16 Astrophysics and Religion

Arnold O. Benz

17 The Epistemology of Flat Earth Theory: Evidentialism, Suspicion, and the Ethics of Belief

Jennifer Guyver

Part 4 Future Directions

18 Astrobiology, Astroethics, and Astrotheology in Conversation

Grace Wolf-Chase

19 Religious Traditions and Religious Imagination in Cosmos Contexts

John Hart

20 Wonder Brokers: Scientific Wonder as Spiritual Authority in the Cosmos Series (1980 and 2014)

Aaron Ricker


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Aaron Ricker received his PhD from McGill University. His publications include Ancient Letters and the Purpose of Romans (2020). His research interests include the social-scientific analysis of religion, biblical literature, and popular culture.

Christopher J. Corbally is Associate Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Arizona, a research astronomer at the Vatican Observatory, and President of the National Committee for Astronomy, Vatican City State, International Astronomical Union. His publications include The Emergence of Religion in Human Evolution, with Margaret Boone Rappaport (2019).

Darry Dinnell received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from McGill University. He has taught at McGill and at St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan.