Skip to content
Sign up for monthly email updates of faith and science articles from Magis Center!
Still of Karin Öberg in a n interview.
Magis CenterAugust 16, 20231 min read

Karin Öberg’s Spiritual and Professional Pursuit of Finding E.T.

“Wouldn’t it be really cool to talk to another species that had a relationship with God but must look different because it’s not influenced by our story?” —Dr. Karin Öberg

In an interview with Aleteia, Karin Öberg shared her desire to find intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Searching for extraterrestrial life is not only what Öberg does for a living—it’s also driven by her Catholic faith.

Karin Öberg is a professor of Astrochemistry at Harvard whose research focuses on the chemical compositions of forming planetary systems and what makes planets hospitable for life. Dr. Öberg is also a collaborator on Magis Center’s Purposeful Universe project, which seeks to present the abundant order in the universe that indicates the existence of an intelligent and purposeful Creator.

Aliens and Theology

The scientific and theological questions surrounding extraterrestrial life are numerous and intriguing. A convert to Catholicism, Öberg has pondered how the existence of extraterrestrial life would enhance our understanding of our Creator and what Catholic theology could lead us to believe about the possibility of alien life. For example, would intelligent beings elsewhere in the universe be saved by the incarnation like us?

Read Aleteia’s interview with Karin Öberg to further explore the theology and science of alien life.

Karin Öberg on Purposeful Lab Podcast

The Magis Center also recently had the pleasure of conversing with Dr. Öberg about her spiritual and professional pursuit of extraterrestrial life. Dr. Öberg is our guest on the second episode of the Purposeful Lab podcast, in which she shares more about her journey from agnostic to Catholic, her career as an astrochemist, and the possibility of alien life.

Watch or listen to the episode to dive deeper into the exciting possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. Also: sign up to receive updates for the Purposeful Lab Podcast!



Magis Center

The mission of the Magis Center is to create content that helps people find higher purpose in life, an awareness of their transcendent dignity, a sense of the transcendent providential power who guides them, and a determination to live ethically responsible lives. To that end, the Magis Center produces and distributes media that provides contemporary commentary on timeless topics.