The Rael World: Narratives of the Raelian Movement

by Hanson, Tayah L.

Abstract (Summary)
In December of 2002, an organization called Clonaid released the news that the first human clone had been born. This company is the offspring of an emerging religious movement, the Raelian movement. Whether the story is true or not, the emergence and growth of this movement suggest that people are looking beyond major world religions, creating a religious outlook (which is a hybrid of dominant religions) with the tenets of extraterrestrial intelligent design, human consciousness, and scientific and technological development. It is a new spin on science as religion, with components of science fiction.

To better understand the significance of this movement in contemporary North American culture, the following research is based upon a narrative analysis of the accounts of five members of the movement. The thesis will elaborate on such topics as the sociology of religion, science, biotechnology, social movements and cults, science fiction, and the role of stories in shaping meaning of our place and relationships in the world. The reason for this study is to ascertain characteristics of those participating in the movement: who is joining, why they are joining, and what they are getting out of it. The research uses narrative analysis to focus on the stories of individual members, to provide the best view of the movement, from the inside-out. What emerges is an elaborate depiction of the significance of the Raelian movement in the world through individual members interpretations.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Mehta, Michael D.

School:University of Saskatchewan

School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:ideal types ufo religion narrative inquiry cult typology technical mysticism


Date of Publication:11/01/2005

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