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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As a result of the analysis undertaken here, we can conclude that Scientology is a religion from all perspectives which exist in the current discussion of the definition of this term in the social sciences and which we have reviewed in the present work.

Like most religions which internationally constitute the “religious ferment” of the last several decades (the religions of Eastern origin, Pentecostalism, and the Afro-American religions among others) religious experiences which are not ordinary and not quotidian have a central place in Scientology. Just as with the other religions such experiences occur in part motivated, regulated and interpreted by doctrine and in part taken as proof of the correctness of the cosmic vision held by the group. Consequently, Scientology fits the substantive definitions of religion currently in use in the social sciences.

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