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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Scientology also fits the concept of religions as it is currently defined from the functionalist perspective, constituting a body of beliefs through which a group of people give meaning to fundamental problems such as injustice, suffering and the search for the meaning of life and together with practices through which they face these problems and intend to surmount them.

Like most religions, Scientology claims to have revealed the mystery of life. It does not propound an avowedly arbitrary meaning for the life of man; it claims to have discovered the true meaning. In doing so, it differentiates itself from the humanist perspectives: It does not propose or suggest values and ethical norms to give meaning to human life; on the contrary it claims to know what man truly is and what is the meaning of his life. At the same time, and because of using a similar vocabulary to the sciences, it is clearly different from them, given that it does not intend exclusively to describe how things happen, does not formulate questions nor present hypotheses for their opposition and eventual modification but asserts to have discovered the true causes and offers to share its knowledge. Therefore, Scientology fits the comparative definitions which characterize religion, distinguishing it from the humanist perspectives.

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