Sol Invictus - Heliophilic Elements in Early Russian Space Flight Theory

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G. Tolkowsky (2003), JBIS, 56, 137-143

Refcode: 2003.56.137
Keywords: Anthropocosmism, astronautics, heliophilic, holism, pagan, Russia

Common historiographic theory refers to the space age as an extrapolation of the Age of the Enlightenment. According to this thesis, the Copernican transformation of man's place in the universe, and the gradual divergence of science away from Judeo-Christian theology, paved the road to the application of scientific and technological methodologies to the age-old notion of space travel. As an anti-thesis to this historiographic tradition, and in particular reference to the Russian case, one can point at the influence of certain metaphysical elements alien to the Enlightenment, some of which were pagan, on the birth of the space age. At the centre of this metaphysical foundation of astronautics stands the heliophilic motif, namely - the attribution of monistic potency to the sun, and the pursuit of an anthropo-solar affinity by way of space travel.

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