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 the current functionalist perspective a religion is therefore a combination of beliefs giving meaning to fundamental problems such as injustice, suffering and the search for the meaning of life and a combination of practices through which such problems are faced with the intent to overcome them. To ask if Scientology fits this definition is therefore to investigate if it presents a combination of practices designed to overcome these fundamental problems of life and a system of beliefs that serve to explain them.

In this respect it is possible to observe, in the first place, that the central practice of Scientology, auditing, is presented in effect as a way to overcome suffering. It affirms that through active and voluntary participation in auditing one’s ability to face the problems of existence, resolve them and achieve each time higher levels of consciousness and spiritual well-being, will be improved.

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