US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Christ and extraterrestrials

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What’s the next frontier of theology? Outer space, of course, says Sister Ilia Delio, who comments on our earthly understanding of Christ in “Universal Savior.”

If we discovered life on other planets, should we send the missionary ships?

I actually wrote an article on this called “Christ in Extraterrestrial Life.” Again, here’s where I think Jesus is Christ, but Christ is more than Jesus. I think Christ is the one Word of God that we know is incarnate here, but wherever there is intelligible life in the universe, I think there will be incarnation. If there is life on Mars, the Word will become incarnate there.

The whole point of the incarnation is that God’s love becomes visible and concrete so that life may share in that love of God. So wherever there is intelligible life, there will be the Word incarnate. If it’s Martian life, it’ll be Martian Christ. Wherever God’s love is concretely incarnated, there is the Christ. There is only one Christ, but that Christ can be incarnated in many different ways.

Truthfully, we have not thought through this question sufficiently yet, so I think we’re just at the beginning of it because I can guarantee that at the fifth-century Council of Chalcedon they weren’t thinking about E.T.