Scientology: A Worshipping Community

By Lonnie D. Kliever, Southern Methodist University

SYNOPSIS:

In this article, Professor Lonnie D. Kliever examines and answers two questions: (1) Is Scientology a religion, and (2) Are Scientology Churches places of worship? “I am convinced by reason of my professional training and scholarly research,” Dr. Kliever concludes, “that Scientology is a religious organization in all respects of that term because it meets the scholarly definition of any religious tradition, because it pursues the goals of any religious quest, and because it exhibits the dimensions of any religious community. I am also convinced that Scientology is a worshipping community in every sense of the word because its object of worship is both absolute and transcendent, its forms of worship are both spiritual and educational, and its occasions of worship are both private and public.” Churches of Scientology offer a variety of services and are open to the public in countries all over the world.

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