Odyssey: Astronomy, Religion, and Society

In this eight-week course we will cover the amazing developments and discoveries in astronomy over the past half millennium and their impacts on both religion and society. When Galileo used the first telescope to see Jupiter's moons, he disproved that Earth was immovable at the universe's exact center. His discovery changed society forever, issuing in the Enlightenment, where science blossomed and authoritarianism waned. In the early 20th century astronomers found galaxies beyond our own, hurtling away from us in all directions. If not Earth, was the Milky Way at the universe's center? NASA's Hubble and COBE telescopes photographed the universe's baby picture 13.8 billion years old. NASA's James Webb Telescope, next to launch, will be able to view the births of the first stars and galaxies. NASA's Kepler telescope has identified over 2,000 planets orbiting other stars, light-years distant. What would the discovery of life there mean to both religion and society?

914.589.01 Homewood campus
Tuesdays, March 20 to May 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $198 (eight sessions)

JHU full-time faculty/staff are eligible for tuition remission. Please contact 410-516-8516 for more details. You will be unable to receive the discount if you register online.