Here’s the thing about Jürgen Moltmann. Almost everything he says, you feel you’ve read somewhere before. Now there could be two explanations for this. One, that he’s a creature of fashion: that, like everyone, he speaks out on the environment; on the analogy between the discourse on human rights and the relation to soil, sea and sky; on justice for the oppressed; on God’s coming future. Or two, that he’s a creator of fashion.
In The Clash Within, Martha Nussbaum explored the capacity to entertain the other as key to a democratic society. Now she considers angry resistance to the other, bringing her usual erudite analysis and intense moral passion.
José Gabriel Funes, who runs the Vatican’s astronomy program, is not bothered by the idea that there might be intelligent life on some other planet, such as on the recently discovered Kepler 452b which appears to be earthlike. “Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on Earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God,” Funes said. “This is not in contrast with our faith because we can’t put limits on God’s creative freedom.” He does not believe that the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligent life would mean there could be another Jesus. “The incarnation of the son of God is a unique event in the history of humanity, of the universe,” he said. Pope Francis has already said the church should be open to baptizing extraterrestrials, should they ever be encountered (Washington Post, August 1).