Shmooze with Deana Weibel: Anthropology of Religion in Space & The Ultraview Effect



πŸ“œ Episode Summary: Space Midrash – Deana Weibel πŸ“œ

In this episode of Space Midrash, host Jacob Sager engages in a deep and wide-ranging conversation with Deana Weibel, a professor and anthropologist of religion. They explore the fascinating intersections of faith, anthropology, and human spaceflight. 🌌✨

Introduction: The episode kicks off with Jacob introducing Deana, highlighting her work on space-related topics, and setting the stage for a thought-provoking discussion. πŸŒŸπŸ”­

Anthropology and Space: Deana explains how religious studies and anthropology apply to human spaceflight, sharing her journey from studying traditional anthropological locations to focusing on space. She emphasizes the holistic nature of anthropology and how it intersects with politics, economy, and gender. πŸŒπŸ“š

Religion in Space: Deana discusses the presence of religion in space, addressing the idea that humans cannot leave their spiritual beliefs behind when they travel to the cosmos. She shares anecdotes about astronauts practicing their faith in space. πŸŒ πŸš€

Changing Narratives: The conversation moves to how religious narratives have adapted in response to space exploration. Deana shares stories from history and how new discoveries force religions to reconsider long-held beliefs. πŸ“–βœ¨

Ethical Dilemmas: Jacob and Deana delve into the ethical questions posed by space travel, such as the controversy over sending human remains to the moon and the sacredness of extraterrestrial landscapes. πŸŒ•πŸ’«

Pilgrimage and Space: Deana draws parallels between pilgrimage on Earth and space travel, highlighting how astronauts engage in rituals that resemble religious pilgrimages, such as leaving personal items on the moon. βœ¨πŸ”­

Impact of Space on Spirituality: They explore how the experience of space travel can transform an astronaut’s spirituality and sense of self. Deana shares insights on the overview effect and the lesser-known ultra view effect, describing how seeing Earth and the cosmos from space can profoundly change one’s perspective. 🌌πŸͺ

Future of Religion in Space: The discussion touches on how earthly cultures and religious heritages might preserve themselves in an off-planet future, considering the inevitable changes and adaptations that come with living in space. πŸŒ πŸ“š

Influential Works: Deana shares books and films that have influenced her views on space, including Kim Stanley Robinson’s works and the movie Gravity, which gave her a visceral sense of spacewalking. πŸ“šπŸŽ¬

Personal Connection: The episode concludes with Deana reflecting on what she would bring to space, emphasizing the importance of personal and sentimental items in maintaining a connection to Earth. πŸŒπŸ’ž

This episode offers a rich exploration of how faith and anthropology intersect with the frontiers of space, providing profound insights and sparking curiosity about the future of human spirituality in the cosmos. πŸŒŒπŸ”­

🎀 Podcast Chapters :

  1. πŸŽ™οΈ Introduction and Host Monologue – [00:00:00]
  2. 🌌 Deana Weibel’s Background and Introduction – [00:04:19]
  3. πŸ›« Religious Studies and Anthropology in Spaceflight – [00:04:19]
  4. πŸ“œ Adapting Religion in the Context of Space Exploration – [00:06:34]
  5. πŸ› Presence of Religion in Space – [00:09:10]
  6. 🌍 Changing Moon Narratives with Human Presence – [00:16:10]
  7. πŸ“… Calendars and Cultural Practices in Space – [00:16:44]
  8. πŸ”οΈ Sacred Sites and the Pilgrimage Paradox – [00:18:44]
  9. πŸŒ™ Pilgrimage and Space Travel Symbolism – [00:20:20]
  10. πŸ•Œ Pilgrimage Objects and Rituals in Space – [00:25:20]
  11. πŸ”­ The Vatican Observatory and Cosmos – [00:27:35]
  12. 🌠 The Overview Effect and Spiritual Transformation – [00:31:25]
  13. ✨ The Ultraview Effect and Cosmic Mysticism – [00:31:25]
  14. πŸ•ŠοΈ Future of Religions and Cultures in Space – [00:41:29]
  15. πŸ“š Influential Books and Films on Space Perspectives – [00:45:10]
  16. πŸ’» Personal Items to Take into Space – [00:47:20]
  17. πŸ” Closing Remarks and Future Prospects – [00:49:01]