UFO Religions – Beginnings and Main Forms

  • Danijel Sinani Department of Ethnology and Anthropology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
Keywords:
UFO, extraterrestrials, close encounters, UFO religions, contactees, alien abduction, science fiction, supernatural, UFO eschatology

Abstract

This paper looks at UFO religions, and considers the major factors that have played a role in the emergence and development of these alternative religious movements - from reports of close encounters of the third and fourth kinds and science fiction production, to alternative ideological elaborations of contacts with extraterrestrial worlds. It looks at the basic theological premises, iconography, activities, and, more generally, cultural precepts of several UFO religious movements (the Aetherius Society, Heaven's Gate, Unarius, the Raelian movement). Attention is drawn to the religious connotations of UFO discourse, and its motifs of "otherness" and "supernaturalness". In addition, the relation between the roles and themes promoted within the contactee movement and the accounts of persons claiming to have been abducted by aliens is explored. Finally, the paper highlights the key existential questions and identifies the themes and motifs with which UFO religionists present themselves to the public.

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Published
2010-04-12

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