Toward a Study of ‘Scientologies’
Keywords:Scientology, scientologies, Free Zone, New Religions
Scientology, the New Religious Movement founded by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s, is currently experiencing growing levels of interest from the academic community. Recent scholarly publications point to an array of academic approaches to Scientology, in addition to potential avenues for future research. In this reflective article, the author proposes that studies of contemporary Scientology would be enriched by a greater emphasis on the notion of ‘Scientologies’ (different types of Scientology across both Church of Scientology and Free Zone spaces). This approach, which addresses a wider scope of the Scientologist landscape, can benefit from the increasing number of researchers studying Scientology, and raises the potential for cross-collaboration across a network of interdisciplinary scholars. To this end, the author considers recent developments in the academic study of Scientology, and how a focus on ‘Scientologies’ can enable scholars to explore the complexities of increasingly diverse Scientologist communities.
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