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Secret cousins : Analogies in the construction of religious authority through "science" in Maurice Bucaille and Claude Vorilhon (Raël)

Bigliardi, Stefano LU (2016) In Nova Religio 20(2). p.34-58
Abstract

In this paper I discuss the work of two French authors who advocate a "scientific" exegesis of sacred scriptures: physician Maurice Bucaille (1922-1998) and religious leader Claude Vorilhon (alias Raël, b. 1946). Bucaille argues that the Qur'an's divine origin is demonstrated by its accuracy about natural phenomena and "scientific facts," whereas the Bible does not stand up to "scientific" examination. Vorilhon supposedly received a revelation regarding the creation of humanity by an alien race, the Elohim. Part and parcel of such revelation is a biblical exegesis that identifies, in numerous passages of the Old and New Testaments, allusions to the Elohim's technological interventions in the history of humanity. I argue here that... (More)

In this paper I discuss the work of two French authors who advocate a "scientific" exegesis of sacred scriptures: physician Maurice Bucaille (1922-1998) and religious leader Claude Vorilhon (alias Raël, b. 1946). Bucaille argues that the Qur'an's divine origin is demonstrated by its accuracy about natural phenomena and "scientific facts," whereas the Bible does not stand up to "scientific" examination. Vorilhon supposedly received a revelation regarding the creation of humanity by an alien race, the Elohim. Part and parcel of such revelation is a biblical exegesis that identifies, in numerous passages of the Old and New Testaments, allusions to the Elohim's technological interventions in the history of humanity. I argue here that despite apparent differences, these textual strategies - blending "science" and scriptures - display substantial similarities, and that they are influenced by narrative and philosophical patterns deeply rooted in French culture.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Bucailleism, Claude Vorilhon, Maurice Bucaille, Miracles, Qur'an, Raël/Raëlism, Science and religion
in
Nova Religio
volume
20
issue
2
pages
25 pages
publisher
University of California Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85017639685
  • wos:000386320600002
ISSN
1092-6690
DOI
10.1525/nr.2016.20.2.34
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
52d3793a-37f4-4983-9be2-4891e4a818fb
date added to LUP
2017-05-10 09:49:00
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:35:32
@article{52d3793a-37f4-4983-9be2-4891e4a818fb,
  abstract     = {<p>In this paper I discuss the work of two French authors who advocate a "scientific" exegesis of sacred scriptures: physician Maurice Bucaille (1922-1998) and religious leader Claude Vorilhon (alias Raël, b. 1946). Bucaille argues that the Qur'an's divine origin is demonstrated by its accuracy about natural phenomena and "scientific facts," whereas the Bible does not stand up to "scientific" examination. Vorilhon supposedly received a revelation regarding the creation of humanity by an alien race, the Elohim. Part and parcel of such revelation is a biblical exegesis that identifies, in numerous passages of the Old and New Testaments, allusions to the Elohim's technological interventions in the history of humanity. I argue here that despite apparent differences, these textual strategies - blending "science" and scriptures - display substantial similarities, and that they are influenced by narrative and philosophical patterns deeply rooted in French culture.</p>},
  author       = {Bigliardi, Stefano},
  issn         = {1092-6690},
  keyword      = {Bucailleism,Claude Vorilhon,Maurice Bucaille,Miracles,Qur'an,Raël/Raëlism,Science and religion},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {34--58},
  publisher    = {University of California Press},
  series       = {Nova Religio},
  title        = {Secret cousins : Analogies in the construction of religious authority through "science" in Maurice Bucaille and Claude Vorilhon (Raël)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/nr.2016.20.2.34},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2016},
}