Original Research - Special Collection: Theology and Nature

Astrotheology’s contribution to public theology: From the extraterrestrial intelligence myth to astroethics

Ted Peters
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 3 | a6855 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i3.6855 | © 2021 Ted Peters | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 May 2021 | Published: 26 August 2021

About the author(s)

Ted Peters, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA, United States; Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Public theology is conceived in the church, reflected on critically in the academy and addressed to the world for the sake of the world. The development of a theology of nature is included in the public theologian’s list of tasks of nature that is scripturally based and heavily informed by the natural sciences. Astrotheology is one product. Astrotheology engages astrobiology and other space sciences, firstly, by critically exposing the extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) myth at the heart of science and secondly, by partnering in thinking through public policy proposals with astroethicists.

Contribution: The HTS collection on ‘Theology and Nature’ sparks theological discussion both within and beyond the church. By developing the fields of astrotheology and astroethics, this article contributes to a ‘Theology of Nature’ as an exercise in Public Theology.


astrobiology; astrotheology; astroethics; extraterrestrial life; ETI; ETI myth; public theology; public policy; SETI; NASA


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