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James R. Lewis

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195331493

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195331493.001.0001

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Scientology, a “New Age” Religion?

Scientology, a “New Age” Religion?

(p.225) 11 Scientology, a “New Age” Religion?

Andreas Grünschloß

Oxford University Press

The “Church of Scientology” has gradually surfaced as the most hotly debated movement during the second half of the twentieth century, and it continued to stimulate ongoing discussions up to the present. If Scientology is viewed as a religion at all, it is mainly perceived as a candidate that might fit into the “alternative” realm of modern religiosity denoted by labels like New Age or Esotericism. This chapter examines Scientology in terms of its parallels with the so-called New Age movement. These parallels are not accidental, but arise out of the influence of common predecessor movements. Theosophy, for example, is the source of certain interpretations of Asian religions like Buddhism that influenced both Hubbard and the New Age.

Keywords:   Church of Scientology, New Age, Esotericism, Theosophy, Buddhism, Hubbard

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