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
3 To Reverently Bestow the Seasons: Calendrical Narratives in Early China and Rome.
4 Celestial Deities in the Flat-Earth Buddhist Cosmos and Astrology
5 Early Islamic Encounters with the Rains Stars of pre-Islamic Arabian Astronomy
6 Cosmology and Religious Culture in Jewish and Byzantine Art
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
Part 3 The Modern World
12 Market Predictions: Astrology in Modern India
13 Faster than the Speed of NASA: The Tenth Planet, Prophecy and the Universalization of a Gujarati Village Goddess
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
Part 4 Future Directions
18 Astrobiology, Astroethics, and Astrotheology in Conversation
19 Religious Traditions and Religious Imagination in Cosmos Contexts
20 Wonder Brokers: Scientific Wonder as Spiritual Authority in the Cosmos Series (1980 and 2014)
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.