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 postulates that through its practice and training persons will free themselves from suffering such as irrational fears and psychosomatic illnesses, become more calm, more in a state of equilibrium, more energetic and communicative, will repair and revitalize their relations with others, achieve their personal goals, discard their doubts and inhibitions and acquire certainty and confidence in themselves, feel joy and clearly understand how to achieve happiness. In summary, Scientology presents itself as a means of overcoming suffering and the inequalities of individual ability.

Another of the elements which is included in the current functional definitions of religion is the giving of a meaning or explanation for the fundamental problems of life. Through the explanation of the reasons for human suffering, most religions alleviate in an indirect manner the tensions which such suffering produces. For those who are followers of such religions the problems of life become less perceived as senseless, unjust and inexplicable through acquiring a meaning. The doctrinal explanations for suffering give a foundation at the same time for the justification of religious practices designed to overcome such suffering: the postulating of the causes of the problems of life may be regarded as the basis for the development of programs of actions to overcome them.

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