Bristol – Exoplanets, aliens and God – who is out there and what is the real future of humanity?


7:00 pm - 9:30 pm


Christ Church Clifton
Clifton Down Rd, Bristol , BS8 3BN
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Prof David Wilkinson

David is Principal of St John’s College and Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University 
Location: Christ Church Clifton, BS8 3BN which is served by both the No 8 and 505 bus services.

Starts with tea and coffee at 7pm
Talk starts at 7.30pm

Professor David Wilkinson
David Wilkinson is President of St John’s College, Durham University.  He is also Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion.  He is married to Alison and has two grown up children, Adam and Hannah.  His background is research in theoretical astrophysics, where he gained a PhD in the study of star formation, the chemical evolution of galaxies and terrestrial mass extinctions.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.   After this research he trained for the Methodist ministry, serving in a variety of appointments.  His current work at Durham University involves the relationship of the Christian faith to contemporary culture, from science to pop-culture.  David also holds a PhD in Systematic Theology where he explored the future of the physical universe. His recent books include Christian Eschatology and the Physical Universe (T&T Clark) Science, Religion and SETI (OUP), and When I pray what does God do? (Monarch). David is a Canon at St Albans Cathedral and Ecumenical Fellow at Liverpool Cathedral.   He is a frequent contributor to Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4.

Outline of the lecture
In the light of the discovery of exoplanets and the launch of new telescopes such as James Webb, is it likely that we might find evidence for alien life?  And if we do would this be a problem for Christian belief?  David Wilkinson explores the current science and the long tradition of other worlds within Christian theology to suggest that the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence should be affirmed by Christians but also that Christians have something to contribute to this search.