Eifelheim is a science fiction novel by author Michael Flynn, published in (2006). It was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2007. It first appeared as a novella in 1986, which was a nominee for Best Novella Hugo Award in 1987.
The village, they learn, was originally called Oberhochwald, and then afterwards renamed Teufelheim (Devil home in German), which eventually distorted to Eifelheim. They also learn of the town's priest, Father Dietrich, an educated man who served the town in 1348, just as the Black Death was beginning to strengthen its grip on medieval Europe. Dietrich, it appears, acted as humanity's first ambassador, and was the primary liaison between Eifelheim and the aliens who happened to wreck their starship in the woods outside the village.
The novel concentrates primarily on the alien encounter in the 14th century, paying special attention to the interplay between Dietrich, a Christian scholar who is fond of Aristotle and metaphor, and technologically advanced, post-Einsteinian band of otherworldly travelers. The interplay includes two theological questions. The first, "can aliens become Christians?" is answered in the affirmative, as some of them become converts. The second, "where is God when things go wrong?" is more difficult to answer, for both the Germans and the alien Krenken. The Germans are stricken by the Black Death, and the Krenken, who are immune to the disease, but can't return to their home, require an amino acid not found in earthly organisms. The answer is two-fold: there is always hope, and God's love is expressed to us in the unselfish love of fellow creatures. Dietrich's attempts to understand the science of the Krenken (their view of the solar system, and gravity, is quite different from his) and their attempts to explain it to him, are also an important theme.
William of Ockham appears as a minor character. Nagy's search for a new physics, which will lead to a new means of space travel, is helped by Schwoerin's research. He discovers a circuit diagram from the Krenken, drawn as a manuscript by Germans.