Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

UFO Cults

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_1498

Related Terms

Description

The terminology “UFO cult” can be misleading in that the groups do not worship UFOs (unidentified flying objects), rather the beings that they believe control or create UFOs. Religions based around beliefs in UFOs and extraterrestrial beings are mostly a product of the past 150 years. Such beliefs are oftentimes similar to those of New Age religious groups, and one could say that UFO cults are a form of New Age religion (Albanese 2008). Although theological ties between the two are similar, social structures of UFO cults are more discernible.

Emanuel Swedenborg’s publication claiming that he communed with spirits from other planets in 1758 (Swedenborg 1758/2006) is accepted as the first claim of communication with  extraterrestrials, but otherwise the idea lay fairly out of the public eye until the advent of spiritualism in the late nineteenth century...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Albanese, C. (2008). A republic of mind and spirit. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cowan, D., & Bromley, D. (2007). Cults and new religions: A brief history. City: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  3. Melton, J. (2000). The church of scientology. Salt Lake City: Signature Books.Google Scholar
  4. Palmer, S. (2004). Aliens adored. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Rothstein, M. (2003). UFO beliefs as syncretistic components. In C. Partridge (Ed.), UFO religions (pp. 256–273). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Swedenborg, E. (2006). The earths in the universe and their inhabitants: Also, their spirits and angels, from what has been heard and seen. Montana: Kessinger/LLC Whitefish.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Anthropology, St. Peter’s CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK