THE RELIGIOUS STATUS OF SCIENTOLOGY
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        I am an evangelical Christian and obtained my undergraduate  degree in Religious Studies from the University of Lancaster where I  studied with Professor Ninian Smart.  Following this I did research  in the history of religions at the University of Bristol with the Rev.  F.B.  Welbourn.  As a graduate student I concentrated my work on the interaction between religion and society, studying for my  M.A.  on new religious movements in Britain and for my doctorate the     relationship between Calvanism and Afrikaner nationalism in South Africa.  Since completing graduate work, I have maintained an interest in religion in Southern Africa and in new religious movements in Western society.  At present I hold the post of Assistant Professor of the Philosophy of Religion at Regent College in Vancouver.  Regent College is a post-graduate theological school  firmly committed to the Christian religion.

        One of the main problems in discussing the religious nature of  any movement is the question of the definition of religion. Although scholars offer many different definitions of religion they can, very broadly, be divided into two main types.  There are those definitions which define religion in terms of a cultic organization and there are those definitions which define religion in terms of a way of life.  To assess the religious nature of Scientology I began by using the definition given by  professor Ninian Smart, who is one of the worlds leading authorities in the fields of religious studies.  This definition was given at a colloquium at the University of Lancaster in December 1969 and is to be found in Professor Smart's paper entitled "Meaning in and the Meaning of Religion." At the end of section one of his paper, paragraph reference 2.60, Professor  Smart gives the following definition:
 

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