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Aliens and Religion, Part 2 - Eastern Orthodoxy
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Join Intelligence Officer Brendan Sean Murphy as he voyages into space in a struggle for peace and his own sanity. My first novel Fallen is available for $2.99 on Kindle, free on Kindle Unlimited, and $19.95 on paperback!
Religion and Aliens
Fallen and Risen Spoiler Free!
This post continues a series of objective, non-judgement views of various religions’ views on the potential of extraterrestrial life.
Little talked about, but when it is, demons are likely to be blamed.
First, a little explanation is needed. Unlike Catholicism with its clear hierarchy and established council structure that allows for dogmatic proclamations, Eastern Orthodoxy is a confederation of independent churches with no one source to declare something a matter of faith (some churches don’t even recognize each other). As such, one element of Orthodoxy cannot speak for all of it.
Historically speaking, Orthodoxy did not have a period of scholasticism like the Catholic Church. Therefore, the question of whether or not there were extraterrestrials had little to no presence amongst historic Orthodox theologians.
The modern Orthodox theological thought about the possibility of life on other worlds came from Russian Orthodox Vladimir Lossky, who wrote that extraterrestrial life was a likelihood in 1944’s The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. Lossky went as far as to say Christianity might have been meant for Earth and not necessarily aliens. Meanwhile, in 1965, the well-known American theologian Reverend John Romanides wrote an op-ed stating Orthodoxy would be open to the possibility of aliens, with the only question being how close or far away they were in their relationship to God.
However, these views are in the minority. Most of Orthodoxy has been closed to the possibility of extraterristrial life when discussing the matter. The current Patriarch of Constantinople has given soft no’s to the possibility of aliens. For example, he has written, “[t]he quintessence of this overflowing love of God... was the boundlessly abundant, personal, spiritual, and body-spirit creation of angels and people, and the infinite creation of the whole universe to serve them.”
Taking the argument further, some state alien life is impossible and that reports about aliens are demons. The American saint Seraphim Rose, a very popular theologian, wrote how UFOs were demons distracting people from God, and reports of abductions matched older stories of demonic attacks. The Old Calendarist, outside the mainstream Orthodox communion, Chrysostomos of Etna wrote his own similar beliefs. Additionally, the Georgian saint Gabriel of Georgia claimed that demons disguised as aliens would arrive to aid the Antichrist.
Russian Orthodoxy has been the most open single church in its dismissal of aliens. In 2020, the Russian Orthodox Church's then de facto number two cited Rose's work, claiming, "If civilizations really existed on other planets, our Holy Scripture, the Bible, would definitely say something about that." While earlier in 2013, the church's public relations arm stated people seeing aliens were actually encountering angels and demons.
Like Russia, Eastern Orthodox leaders in America are also vocal on the debate of alien life, and it's not accepting on the topic. The Greek Orthodox cathedral in Washington DC has an in-depth educational page that, while not stating all UFO encounters are demons, heavily implies demons are involved. Meanwhile, the Antiochian Orthodox Church-funded Ancient Faith Radio, which considers its outreach pan-Orthodox, has a 20-minute podcast summed up with UFOs are a cultic devotion, and most sightings are actually demons. "Little good" has come from interest in UFOs, Ancient Faith Radio says. Finally, Father Thomas Kulp of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which is outside of the mainstream Orthodox communion, wrote an article claiming that "every single case [of UFO sightings], without any exception whatsoever, is something straight out of Satan's bag."
The rare modern-day exception to "aliens are demons" is Father Maggos, a priest at a Greek Orthodox parish in New York, who states aliens are possible because God can do whatever God wants.
This week’s #scififri on X/Twitter was the word “dry.” Thinking back to a little bit of local history of where I grew up, I wrote a quick ditty about emigrant labor, local laws, and the desire to make it rich quick.
Tomen smiled as he saw the sign saying Lupa Colony was dry. Almost all spice drinkers would lament their five year contracts upon reading the sign. Not Tomen. He saw a business opportunity for a great moonshiner ready for the chance.
Other Independent Book Promotions
FEATURED FULL BOOK GIVEAWAY
Beat Anxiety Biblically by Matthew Hogan
For those fans of Fallen, you know I am a mental health advocate. I recommend everyone try out various approaches to help address mental health concerns. That is why I am recommending Reverend Matthew Hogan's Beat Anxiety Biblically. This is a giveaway (not a sample nor sale) of a whole book in which Rev Hogan, a licensed counselor, gives insight into Bible passages that can aid one in fighting anxiety. These aren't magical words to scare stress away but tools to apply. You can check out Reverend Hogan's website here.
MAYIM by Ardith A. Price - A Short Story that Starts a Series
Sophia McFadden, a Water Microbiologist, never thought her assignment to solve a water crisis in Romala could put her in harm’s way.
After three escapes from harm, Sophia receives a call to flee the town, end her analyses, or perish. She considers leaving, but quitting shows her failing her mission.
A corrupt oil mogul and his hordes of extraterrestrials and humanoids offer a sizable bounty on Sophia’s head. A daring agent steps forward to help her, but now peril stalks both—if she solves the mysterious enigma in the ocean.
Action, Adventure, & Other Worlds - Book Samples and Short Stories
Clean-ish Adventures in Scifi, Action, & Fantasy for Review! - Full Books for Free, Reviews Encouraged!
Until Next Time
Thank you for reading this newsletter update. Next time, we will feature the Fallen one-person RPG I made when I was bored one day. Then we will continue the series of extraterrestrials and religion by looking at Protestant Denominations and Other Christian Faiths.
As always, feel free to leave a comment with any questions, reviews, thoughts, whatever about Fallen, Risen, or whatever else I have discussed; I promise to reply!