Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


COSS Catalyst: Space Temples

09 March 2023, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

a domed temple

This Catalyst invites guests to contemplate whether it is possible to un-Earth religion without replicating the historical inequalities.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni






Paddy Edgley

During this COSS Catalyst, speakers will explore the role of space temples and places of worship in future human habitats off-Earth. As plans for prospective space habitats proliferate, the vision for this future of humanity remains gate-kept by major state sponsors of space exploration and research - the world's largest economies. This is while the dominant religious institutions across these countries share an enduring imperial legacy.

This Catalyst invites our guests to contemplate whether it is possible to un-Earth religion without replicating these historical inequalities. Drawing on their respective specialisms from across the interfaith, intercultural, and interdisciplinary spectrum, our speakers will discuss existing imaginations of off-Earth places of worship - in plans, speculations, art and fiction - alongside real terrestrial places of worship that incorporate ideas about off-Earth being and beings.

Host: Jenia Gorbanenko
Organiser: Paddy Edgley

MediaCentral Widget Placeholderhttps://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Player/EBI249B9


About the Speakers

Grace Dillon

Professor in the Indigenous Nations Studies Program at Portland State University

She is Anishinaabe by way of Bay Mills Nation, with family, aunties, and uncles also at Garden River Nation, Ontario, Canada, along with the Saulteaux Nation, Ontario, Canada, Metís Nation, and Irish. She is the author of the term Indigenous Futurisms and the editor of Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction.

More about Grace Dillon

Jim Clarke

Writer, researcher and academic, specialising in Religious Futurisms

He is currently working with Sapienship, an educational and social impact organisation. He is the author of Science Fiction and Catholicism: The Rise and Fall of the Robot Papacy.

More about Jim Clarke

Jorge Mañes Rubio

Artist and co-founder of the Design Museum Dharavi

During his artistic residency at the European Research Agency, he proposed a Moon temple project that reimagined the future of space exploration.

More about Jorge Mañes Rubio

Jörg Matthias Determann

Associate Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar

He is an historian of science in the Muslim world. He is the author of Islam, Science Fiction and Extraterrestrial Life: The Culture of Astrobiology in the Muslim World.

Lauren Reid

Curator, researcher and educator

She is currently completing her PhD in Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin with the project Thinking Beyond the Final Frontier: Cosmic Futures in Thailand.

More about Lauren Reid

William Lempert

Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Bowdoin College

He is researching Aboriginal self-representation embedded within the production of films that vividly imagine hopeful and diverse Indigenous futures.

More about William Lempert