1. bookVolume 14 (2018): Issue 1 (December 2018)
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1822-4547
First Published
15 Dec 2017
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English
access type Open Access

Messianism and UFO Sightings as Counterfactual Strategies of Enchantment of the World

Published Online: 14 Dec 2018
Volume & Issue: Volume 14 (2018) - Issue 1 (December 2018)
Page range: 99 - 109
Received: 09 May 2018
Accepted: 31 Oct 2018
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1822-4547
First Published
15 Dec 2017
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
Summary

In this text, I argue that there are numerous affinities between 19th century messianism and testimonies of UFO sightings, both of which I regarded as forms of secular millennialism. The common denominator for the comparison was Max Weber’s concept of “disenchantment of the world” in the wake of the Industrial Revolution which initiated the era of the dominance of rational thinking and technological progress. However, the period’s counterfactual narratives of enchantment did not repudiate technology as the source of all social and political evil—on the contrary, they variously redefined its function, imagining a possibility of a new world order. In this context, I analysed the social projects put forward by Polish Romantics in the first half of the 19th century, with emphasis on the role of technology as an agent of social change. Similarly, the imaginary technology described by UFO contactees often has a redemptive function and is supposed to bring solution to humanity’s most dangerous problems.

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