Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Futurology of Religious Cloning: Personhood Beyond Apocalypse

Debbora Battaglia.

This paper is drawn from conventional fieldwork and cyberethnogrpahy in the social spaces of the new religious movement that claims to have cloned the first human being, called "Eve". This media event replays a Neo-Creationist myth of human personhood that posits extraterrestrial scientists as the Creators of human life on Earth. On one level, the paper offers the complexifying "supplement" of ethnographic knowledge iinto the mix of media-driven cloning discourse and debate, inviting us to revisit the idea of the alien as a "model of and model for" human personhood from a planetized perspective. On another level, it argues that the "outer spaces" of technoscience spirituality can illuminate the "inner spaces" of alternative intellectual and spiritual communities across the global ethnoscape, drawing critical attention to what counts as evidence and truth and for whom in postmodernity.


Debbora Battaglia  (United States)
Professor of Anthropology
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Mount Holyoke College

Ph.D. Cambridge University Anthropological fieldwork in Melanesia and North America, focusing on ideologies of person and self across cultures; Most recent work in religion, science, and media, focusing on the futurology of human cloning in humanities and social science discourses

  • Personhood
  • Science
  • Religion
  • Media

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)