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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iv.ii. Participation in Rituals and Acts of Devotion

Another of the forms through which religions seem to expect that their adherents demonstrate their religiosity is through participation in rituals and acts of devotion. In this respect, it is possible to observe in the first place that the Church of Scientology celebrates the same rituals as other religious institutions such as Sunday services, weddings, funerals and naming ceremonies for newborn children.

However, these are not the only activities which are ritually structured in Scientology. Auditing, the central practice of Scientology, is a ritual activity in the sense that an anthropologist gives to this term: a highly structured procedure which fits rigorous rules and is repeated meticulously. In effect, auditing is accomplished through a series of carefully established steps developed by the founder of the Church which are to be followed without variation. For the Church of Scientology, auditing demands a precise path, an exact route to reach higher states of awareness. Auditing is defined as a precise activity, precisely codified and which follows exact procedures:

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