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Jesuit Book Club: Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ
The Jesuit Book Club discusses "Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?" by Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ, and Fr. Paul Mueller, SJ.

Join us for this free, live Zoom conversation with Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ, director of the Vatican Observatory, and co-author of our book selection.

Description of "Would You Baptize an Extraterristrial?":

Witty and thought provoking, two Vatican astronomers shed provocative light on some of the strange places where religion and science meet.

"Imagine if a Martian showed up, all big ears and big nose like a child’s drawing, and he asked to be baptized. How would you react?" - Pope Francis, May 2014.

Pope Francis posed that question - without insisting on an answer! - to provoke deeper reflection about inclusiveness and diversity in the Church. But it's not the first time that question has been asked.

Brother Guy Consolmagno and Father Paul Mueller hear questions like that all the time. They’re scientists at the Vatican Observatory, the official astronomical research institute of the Catholic Church. In "Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?" they explore a variety of questions at the crossroads of faith and reason: How do you reconcile the The Big Bang with Genesis? Was the Star of Bethlehem just a pious religious story or an actual description of astronomical events? What really went down between Galileo and the Catholic Church - and why do the effects of that confrontation still reverberate to this day? Will the Universe come to an end? And - could you really baptize an extraterrestrial?

With disarming humor, Brother Guy and Father Paul explore these questions and more over the course of six days of dialogue. "Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?" will make you laugh, make you think, and make you reflect more deeply on science, faith, and the nature of the universe.

Oct 19, 2022 07:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ
Director @Vatican Observatory
Br. Guy Consolmagno, SJ, is the director of the Vatican Observatory. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in 1974 and Master of Science in 1975 in Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona in 1978. He took vows as a Jesuit brother in 1991, and studied philosophy and theology at Loyola University Chicago, and physics at the University of Chicago before his assignment to the Vatican Observatory in 1993. He has coauthored two astronomy books: Turn Left at Orion (with Dan M. Davis; Cambridge University Press, 1989) and Worlds Apart (with Martha W. Schaefer; Prentice Hall, 1993). He is the author or co-author of four books exploring faith and science issues, including The Way to the Dwelling of Light (U of Notre Dame Press, 1998); Brother Astronomer (McGraw Hill, 2000); God’s Mechanics (Jossey-Bass, 2007), and Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? (With Paul Mueller, Image, 2014).
Nick Ripatrazone
Moderator @Jesuit Book Club
Nick Ripatrazone is a writer, editor and teacher. His new book, Digital Communion: Marshall McLuhan's Spiritual Vision for a Virtual Age, is now available from Fortress Press. His other books include Longing for an Absent God: Faith and Doubt in Great American Fiction and Wild Belief: Poets and Prophets in the Wilderness, both from Broadleaf Books. Nick is the Culture Editor for Image Journal, a quarterly magazine that seeks to publish the best writing and artwork informed by or grappling with religious faith. He’s also a Contributing Editor for the Catholic Herald (UK), where he covers American Catholic culture and artists. Nick has written for Rolling Stone, GQ, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Esquire, Outside, The Sewanee Review, America, Commonweal, and elsewhere.
Mike Jordan Laskey
Moderator @Jesuit Book Club
Mike Jordan Laskey is the communications director for the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, based in Washington, DC, where he hosts the AMDG Jesuit podcast.