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The 2019 E.T.S. Walton Lecture on Science and Religion is:

Science, Religion and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence


Rev. Prof. David Wilkinson
St. John’s College, Durham University


Thursday 4 April 2019
19:30, Joly Lecture Theatre, Hamilton Building, Trinity College Dublin

The lecture is open to the public and is free. For more information contact:
Dr. Peter van der Burgt, email peter.vanderburgt AT mu.ie, tel. (+353) 01 - 7083782.

Download a poster.

If you are attending this lecture, we are kindly asking you to consider making a voluntary donation of €5 / £5 on the evening towards the cost of organising this and future lectures.

This lecture is organised by Christians in Science Ireland in collaboration with the Trinity College Dublin Christian Union.

Rev. Prof. David Wilkinson will give a lecture on the same topic on 2 April in Belfast as the Church of Ireland Theological Lecture at Queen’s University.


Abstract. The discovery of exoplanets, alongside new missions to the surface of Mars, has given fresh interest and indeed excitement to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. In this lecture, David Wilkinson will explore the science of this quest and then ask how it relates to Christian faith, such as the doctrines of creation, image of God and redemption.

Rather than science and theology being in conflict, it will be argued that Christian theology promoted belief in other worlds and can be a fruitful dialogue partner today.


Rev. Prof. David Wilkinson has degrees in both astrophysics and theology and has written extensively about science and Christianity. His first PhD degree was in astrophysics, looking at the process of star and galaxy formation, and mass extinctions. After this he studied theology at Cambridge and became a Methodist minister. Later he completed a PhD degree in theology and since then has held a number of different positions at Durham University in apologetics and theology. He is now Principal of St John’s College and Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University.

He is interested in current culture and has written books relating subjects such as The X-Files and Star Wars to Christianity, as well as a number of other popular level books. One of his recent books is Science, Religion, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Oxford UP 2017).

More information about him can be found on his personal webpages.



Background image in top banner: a small part of the Orion Nebula, see hubblesite.org.