Scientology and the Substantive Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Comparative Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Functional Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Analytical Definition of Religion

Sharing a Body of Doctrine

Participation in Rituals and Acts of Devotion

Direct Experience of Ultimate Reality

Religious Knowledge

Consequences in Quotidian Life

Scientology and the Emic Definitions of Religions


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From this viewpoint, religion is defined as the kingdom of the extraordinary, the sacred, “the other.” In other words, religion is the sphere of activity and human thought which draws in turn on experiences which put the individual in contact with something inexplicable, marvelous, mysterious and majestic which cannot be explained through the rationality and theories through which one is aware of the events of his life. Religious institutions are those which act to regularize, define and explain religious experiences.

To ask oneself if Scientology fits the existing definitions of religions is the equivalent of investigating if it revolves around, regulates or explains some type of extraordinary experience which puts the individual in contact with a reality of another order, marvelous and surprising. The answer is, according to my understanding, affirmative.

Beyond the resolution of problems and the accomplishment of quotidian objectives, the road of Scientology promises, to one who applies himself to the understanding of its practices, gradual advancement to a lasting happiness and new states of consciousness never dreamed possible. The culmination of such states of consciousness constitutes an experience of total freedom in which the individual would have the capacity to control the physical universe, composed of matter, energy, space and time, and reach a total omniscience. The awareness of life and death and awareness of the universe would therefore be clearly evident to one. The Church of Scientology states:

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