Touching the Face of the Cosmos Day Conference

Touching the Face of the Cosmos Day Conference April 4, 2018

I want to draw attention to the day conference at Fordham University in New York City, which I am unfortunately unable to attend, focused on the theme of the volume in which my first science fiction short story was published: Touching the Face of the CosmosHere are the details from the Eventbrite site:


“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet” – Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018

A one-day series of panels, presentations, and papers that explore a missing ingredient in the attempt of humanity to lift itself off this planet and explore the universe. This ingredient both precedes and exceeds science, and is not about making money or attaining military superiority. It is called sense of wonder, spirituality, or religion – the urge of every human being to know, what are we doing in this Universe? The 2015 anthology, Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion, edited by Paul Levinson and Michael Waltemathe (ebook Connected Editions, paperback and hardcover Fordham University Press) assembled a group of essays and short stories by leading thinkers and writers, including one of the last interviews with John Glenn, that began to explore this issue. Our April 9 conference continues this exploration with:

Keynote address by Guy Consolmagno, SJ, Director of the Vatican Observatory, aka “The Pope’s Astronomer,” at 7:00pm:“Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?”

Plenary session with Molly Vozick-Levinson & Brittany Miller, the Children’s Learning Center, New York City, at 5:30pm: “What Little Children See in Space”

earlier in the day:

4-5:15pm: Science Fiction Looks at Space Travel and Religion: Science fiction is the only kind of fiction that delves into the quintessentially human characteristic of actively shaping and attempting to improve our future in this universe. Three science fiction authors – Paul LevinsonAlex Shvartsman, and David Walton – look at what science fiction shows us about the role of religion in moving humans off this planet into the cosmos.

2-3:45pm: The Intersection of Space Travel and Religion: Paul Levinson (Fordham University): “The Missing Spirit” … Michael Waltemathe (Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany): “Opening the Gates of Heaven: Religious and Philosophical Implications of Space Travel” … Aleksandar Bogdanic (University of Banja Luka, Bosnia): “In Search of the Meaning of the Meaning of Life: Space Travel as Communication … James Heiser (Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America): “Civilization, Culture, and the New Frontier”.

Sponsored by Department of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University

in McNally Auditorium


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