An Analysis and Comparison
of its
Religious Systems

Bryan Wilson, Ph.D.
Emeritus Fellow
Oxford University

VIII.II. The Case Thus Far

The foregoing discussion is necessarily wide-ranging and discursive, involving en passant comparisons with other religious movements, and a review of literature produced by Scientologists and literature about Scientology by academic commentators. The history, doctrines, practices, and religious organization and moral implications of Scientology have been briefly surveyed with particular attention to those facets most at issue in the present appraisal of the religious status of the movement. Such an assessment, in which many pertinent considerations have been brought forward, satisfies the contention that Scientology is a religion. However, since we have attempted (paragraph 2.01above) to set out in terms of abstract generalization those features and functions which are of wide distribution, and hence of high probability, in religious systems, it is now appropriate to bring this model into deliberate use as a bench-marker for Scientology's claim to be a religion. There are wide divergences between the terminology used in Scientology and in the specifications of the model, but this might, at least to some extent, be the case for many _perhaps all _ religious movements. None the less, allowing for the generality of the abstract concepts employed, it should be possible to perceive, without undue difficulty or potential for disagreement, the extent to which Scientology meets the desiderata of the inventory we have produced. >>>>>

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