The Historical and Philosophical Perspectives
The idea that humans are not alone in the Universe is ancient and lost in the mist of mythology. The myths of all ancient peoples are crowded with intelligent beings, often endowed with magical powers greater than those of humans. Often they dwell on Earth together with humankind or, if their abode is extraterrestrial, they live in a heaven that has little in common with the physical Universe. Actually, most ancient men and women could not distinguish between the physical Universe and the spiritual world. Astronomy dealt with fantastic creatures of all the types and, even in relatively recent times, the theological space occupied by God and the angels in Christian tradition often coincided with astronomical space.
KeywordsSolar System Celestial Body Philosophical Perspective Extrasolar Planet Term Plurality
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Arthur C. Clarke, The Exploration of Space, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1951.Google Scholar
- 3.A 1998 statistic states that 13% of the world population is nonreligious; of the remaining 87%, 26% are Christians, 20% Muslims, 13% Hindus, 6% Buddhists, 6% follow Chinese folk religions, and 10% other minor religions such as Baha’is (0.1%), Confucianists (0.1%), ethnic religionists (4.2%), Jains (0.1%), Jews (0.2%), New-Religionists (1.7%), Sikhs (0.4%), Spiritists (0.2%), seventy minor world religions, and Religionists (1.7%), Sikhs (0.4%), Spiritists (0.2%), seventy minor world religions, and more than 10,000 national or local religions. (Source: 1999 Britannica Book of the Year, p. 315.)Google Scholar
- 4.Edgar Martin del Campo, “A Rare Opportunity,” Theology Journal, vol. 41, no. 7, 1999.Google Scholar
- 7.Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Meditations on Original Sin, Paris, November 15, 1947, reported in J. Carles and A. Dupleix, Tehilard de Chardin, Mistico e Scienziato, Edizioni Paoline, Milano, 1998, pp. 268–278.Google Scholar
- 8.J. Carles and A. Dupleix, op. cit., p. 273.Google Scholar
- 9.S. Carter, Every Star Shall Sing a Carol, Copyright 1961, Stainer & Bell Ltd., from the Web site http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc1711.htm
- 10.Quoted in The Observer, August 11, 1996.Google Scholar
- 11.Quoted in G. Schiaparelli, “Il pianeta Marte,” reprint of issues 5 and 6, 1893, of the journal Natura ed arte, reported in P. Tucci et al. (eds.), Giovanni Virgilio Schiaparelli, La Vita sul Pianeta Marte, Mimesis, Milano, 1998.Google Scholar
- 12.Reported in Reginaldo Francisco, “Possibilit`a di una redenzione cosmica,” in F. Bertola et al. (eds.), Origini, PUniverso, la Vita, l’intelligenza, Il Poligrafo, Padova, 1994.Google Scholar
- 13.Reginaldo Francisco, “Prolegomenos para una teologia bio-cosmica,” in Libro Anual, Lima, Facultad Teologica y Civil, 1968, pp. 81–103.Google Scholar
- 14.From a writing of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, January 15, 1918, reported in J. Carles and A. Dupleix, Tehilard de Chardin, Mistico e Scienziato, Edizioni Paoline, Milan, 1998, p. 224.Google Scholar
- 15.The emphasis of “other sheep” is by Reginaldo Francisco, who quotes the verse in “Possibilità di una Redenzione Cosmica,” in F. Bertola et al. (eds.), Origini, l’Universo, la Vita, l’Intelligenza, Il Poligrafo, Padova, 1994. Actually it is most likely that the Evangelist was referring to pagan peoples.Google Scholar