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In: Handbook of Religion and the Authority of Science
In: Handbook of Contemporary Paganism
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.
Editors: and
The Handbook of New Age is a comprehensive survey of alternative spiritualities: their history, their global impact, their cultural influence and how they are understood by scholars. Chapters by many of the leading scholars of the movement give the latest analysis of contemporary spiritual trends, and present up-to-date observations of the interaction between the New Age movement and many different fields of knowledge and research.
Editors: and
Contemporary Paganism is a movement that is still young and establishing its identity and place on the global religious landscape. The members of the movement are simultaneously growing, unifying, and maintaining its characteristic diversity of traditions, identities, and rituals. The modern Pagan movement has had a restless formation period but has also been the catalyst for some of the most innovative religious expressions, praxis, theologies, and communities. As Contemporary Paganism continues to grow and mature, new angles of inquiry about it have emerged and are explored in this collection. This examination and study of contemporary Paganism contributes new ways to observe and examine other religions, where innovations, paradoxes, and inconsistencies can be more accurately documented and explained.
In: Handbook of New Age
In: Handbook of Scientology

The present piece surveys different discussions of “religion” — especially in the legal realm — which have had a bearing on Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard adopted the religion label for practical reasons; in his mind, Scientology was a science, not a religion. However, it is clear that Scientology actually is a religion — at least in the sense of functioning as a religion in the lives of participants — parading as science; instead of, as Hubbard thought, a science parading as religion. This becomes particularly clear upon examination of individuals participating in the so-called “Free Zone” (ex-CoS members who continue to identify as Scientologists), for whom Scientology remains their primary religious identity.

In: Numen

When applying the category of “mythology” to a contemporary new religious group like the Church of Scientology (CoS), one has to choose from among several different categories of narratives which could be regarded as mythological. If we set aside the body of tales surrounding L. Ron Hubbard, CoS’s founder (which could arguably be classified as mythology), one of Scientology’s key stories is the so-called Xenu narrative (also referred to as the ot-iii teachings). Although this story is only revealed after one has tread the “Bridge” for some time, it is arguably a foundational myth, which sets the Scientology enterprise into a cosmological framework. While the present article will focus on the Xenu story, it also discusses Hubbard’s self-mythologizing, including his “discovery” of Incident Two (the Xenu narrative) as a hero myth.

In: Numen