Support the Café

Search our Site

No need for Jesus? Not so fast…

No need for Jesus? Not so fast…

There’s a bit of a dust up this week over a tweet by singer Miley Cyrus (also known to my daughter’s generation as Hannah Montana)

People have rallied to support Cyrus, people like theologian and bible scholar James McGrath who posted this note, along with the actual quote by a physicist that people are objecting to:

“I was very impressed with Miley’s stance on marriage equality a while back. I’m now also impressed with her appreciation of physics, and her ability to appreciate the insightful and beautiful words of a physicist even though that scientist does not share her faith. Bravo, Miley. Keep it up!

Here’s the actual quote from Krauss:

The amazing thing is that every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics:

You are all stardust.

You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements — the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution — weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.

The problem here is that Prof. Krauss is not actually taking the poetic seriously enough. If Truth is to be found in nature, we ought to expect to find it as a reoccurring theme. To borrow a meme from Bishop Joseph Butler, late of Durham, the transformation of the butterfly who dies and rises again, is for example a poetic pointer to the deeper reality of the universal Christ event.

So too we ought be expecting the Universe at the great cosmic scale to reflect this truth as well. Stars were created, lived their lives and by dying have been transformed into a new creation? Seems like a pretty clear pointer to our participation in the mystery of the Triduum as well.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Josh Magda

From a mystical standpoint, Christ is the elan vital of the Universe, so ontologically as well as analogically, S/he is the force behind all natural phenomena. In addition, people came to experience, through Jesus, that it is really Love that makes the world go around, the stars explode, the flowers open… but also human hearts to open and chains of oppression resulting from too small a heart to break. Jesus was Cosmic recognition event. This union of Jewish wisdom, Jesus’ own genius, and the timeless truths of authentic earth-centered religions is Christianity in a nutshell, and represents its unique, Love-oriented contribution to the family of world religions.


“we are billion year old carbon”? I thought it was “We are half a million strong”!

Certainly, Carl Sagan popularized the concept back in the 70s on his Cosmos show: “We are star-stuff” (it sounded better when he said it! ;-p)

JC Fisher

Bill Dilworth

Meh. Joni Mitchell said it better (although Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young *sang* it better): “We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.”


So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.

Sounds like both a silly quote, and a silly reaction TO it.

JC Fisher

Richard E. Helmer

It could be said that Jesus embodied and illuminated this Truth long before theoretical physics became a discipline!

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café