The Handbook of Scientology brings together a collection of fresh studies of the most persistently controversial of all contemporary New Religions. In recent years, increasing scholarly attention has been directed at the Church of Scientology, resulting in a small tsunami of new scholarship. We have finally reached a point in time where a book on Scientology need not restrict itself to basics. Thus, for example, the historical chapters in the present volume are not really aimed at providing elementary facts on Scientology’s background, but, rather, focus on understanding how the Church of Scientology developed over the years. In short, the Handbook of Scientology will provide a wealth of new information on a topic that one might otherwise have thought exhausted.
Contributors are Matthew Charet, Dorthe Refslund Christensen, Carole M. Cusack, Bernard Doherty, Marco Frenschkowski, Liselotte Frisk, Kjersti Hellesøy, Don Jolly, James R. Lewis, Renee Lockwood, András Máté-Tóth, Gábor Dániel Nagy, Johanna Petsche, Erin Prophet, Susan Raine, David G. Robertson, Mikael Rothstein, Lisbeth Tuxin Rubin, Nicole S. Ruskell, Shannon Trosper Schorey, Michelle Swainson, Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, Hugh G. Urban, Donald A. Westbrook, and Benjamin Zeller.
James R. Lewis, Ph.D. (2003), is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tromsø. He is also the author of over a hundred articles and book chapters, and the author, editor or co-editor of two dozen monographs and anthologies.
Kjersti Hellesøyholds a MA in religious studies from the University of Tromsø. She has published articles about radical Islam in Chechnya; religion and violence; and Scientology, most notably about Independent Scientology.
“… one of the most advanced, multidisciplinary, and thorough investigations of Hubbard’s religion, covering an impressive amount of previously uncharted ground, and bound to remain a must-read for the years to come for anyone interested in Scientology, as well as in extending the scholarship thereupon. The depth of the insights expressed in some of the studies the volume contains, as well as the solidity and richness of the empirical data employed to draw critical conclusions, will hardly be paralleled or surpassed in the short run. The volume, considered as a whole in its variety and quality, is unique.”
Stefano Bigliardi, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Journal for the Academic Study of Religion 30:2 (2017)
"Both scholars familiar with Scientology and other new religious movements, and those seeking an introduction to one of the most persistently controversial new religions of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries will find valuable, provocative, and up-to-date material in this extensive volume."
Eugene V. Gallagher, Connecticut College, Reading Religion (2017)
"Of the vast number of publications exploring the subject of Scientology, the present volume stands out for its thorough, fresh, and creative approach to the subject."
G. H. Shriver, Georgia Southern University, CHOICE Vol. 54 No. 12
"On the whole, what is presented can be considered a very useful set of discussions for researchers and students working on NRMs and Scientology. Moreover, the book will appeal more widely to those interested in sociology and the anthropology of religion, particularly as Scientology seems to be such a fertile area for further research at present."
Alexandros Sakellariou, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences of Athens, Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review 8:2 (2017)
Anyone interested in the Church of Scientology, from academic specialists and researchers to a general intelligent readership.