Blog posts by Thore Bjørnvig

In Mars We Trust

As the spaceship slowly approaches Mars its captain is overcome by religious remorse. Though he is the mastermind behind the space station orbiting Earth, and hasn’t had any interest in the Bible before, he is now growing more and more convinced that mankind wasn’t ... Read more

Major Matt Mason’s Moon mission

There are not many academic publications available on the history of space toys. In fact, it is much easier to find literature written by passionate collectors. Here, there may be a wealth of useful information, but often the historical contextualisation is somewhat ... Read more

The ships that sail the cosmic ocean

The spaceship: you have to look far to find something more central to the science fiction genre than that. Certainly, future projections of technology and science in general is one of the most important ingredients of the genre. But the spaceship is the visual ... Read more

What is “astroculture”?

“Astroculture" is a term that identifies a particular field of study within research in cultural history. As it is central to this particular blog, there is good reason to examine the meaning of the word in some detail. Defining "astroculture" The book Imagining ... Read more

The holy grail of outer space

On 22 February 1918, the world's first feature-length science fiction film premiered at the newly opened Palace Theatre in Copenhagen. The silent movie was called Himmelskibet (Eng. A Trip to Mars, or, directly translated, The Sky Ship) and the manuscript was ... Read more

The music of outer space

When dealing with "astroculture" – cultural and historical aspects of, for example, astronomy, spaceflight and space exploration – it is common to use media such as films, books and comics as source material. However, there is also another kind of source material ... Read more

Immortality and outer space

When reading popular scientific works on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), there is usually a reference to the “Drake Equation.” The equation was created by astronomer Frank Drake as an agenda for the first scientific meeting on the possibilities ... Read more

LEGO builds the spaceships of the future

For some, the concept of “astroculture” – which this blog deals with – may seem a bit far out. Cultural phenomena that express man’s relationship to the sky, stars, outer space – how relevant is that? Is it perhaps not more important to build rockets and get out ... Read more

The limits of outer space

On 19 to 22 April the conference “Envisioning Limits: Outer Space and the End of Utopia” was held in Harnack-Haus in Berlin. The conference was organized by the research group The Future in the Stars led by the German historian Alexander C. T. Geppert, Freie ... Read more

The future is in the stars

As the German historian Alexander C. T. Geppert writes in the foreword to the book Imagining Outer Space, “Ubiquitous, limitless and ever-expanding as it may be, outer space has a history too." At the Freie Universität Berlin a research team has embarked on a study ... Read more

Thore Bjørnvig

I graduated from the University of Copenhagen and wrote my master's thesis on the religious aspects of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). From 2005 to 2010 I worked as external lecturer at the Section of Religion, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. In recent years I have worked as a project team member at Kroppedal Museum, Denmark. Here, I conducted a historical survey of Danish Astronomy (1950 to today) with Karin Tybjerg and a research project on the collaboration between the industry and universities in the creation of the Danish Oersted Satellite. The latter was carried out between Kroppedal Museum, the department of the History of Technology Division at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), and Denmark's Technical Museum. My primary research area is religious and cultural aspects of SETI, spaceflight, and space exploration, but I'm also doing a bit of research on prehistoric religion in the Scandinavian Bronze Age. Currently I am researching the astrocultural context of the LEGO Group's LEGOLAND Space theme, 1978-80 and working of refining a new analytical concept, Outer Space Religion, in relation to, for example, James Cameron's Avatar. Apart from that I give lectures and work as a freelance author and journalist. I am an independent scholar.

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