I wrote a piece for the Open University Religious Studies blog on the 70th anniversary of the first Flying Saucer sighting, and the relevance for thinking about religions. You can read it here.

The historian rarely gets to see a narrative of this type as it develops. Compared to the origin stories of Christianity or Islam or almost any other religion, the UFO narrative is well documented and its development can be charted quite clearly. Yet there may be illuminating parallels: 70 years after Jesus’ death, Matthew and Luke were just written, new elaborations on claims of inexplicable sightings, now a generation removed from eyewitnesses.

Historical Religion in Contemporary Perspective? (reblogged)

Not only is it important to consider contemporary religion in its historical context, but we need to consider the study of contemporary religion in its historical context too. Arrarnte elders, Alice Springs, 1896. Via Wikimedia commons. I recently attended a talk by Professor James Cox on cultural memory among the Australian Aboriginal people. In particular,…

via Historical Religion in Contemporary Perspective? — Contemporary religion in historical perspective