Scientology and Religion

By Christian Vonck, Rector, Faculty for Comparative Study of Religion, Antwerp, Belgium

SYNOPSIS:

In this article from 1996, Dr. Christiaan Vonck analyzes the religious nature of Scientology on the basis of its teaching and practices. When examining Scientology, he sees points of comparison with other religious systems, including Christian Science, the Society of Friends (Quakers), Antoinism and Buddhism. “While it has characteristics in common with other religions,” explains Dr. Vonck, “Scientology itself is unique, with an extensive doctrine of its own, based on the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, and its own unique religious praxis.” With respect to the question of whether or not Scientology is a religion in the first place, he is unequivocally affirmative: “For scholars in the field of the history of religions, sociology, and/or comparative religion, there is no doubt that Scientology is a religion.”

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