The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion

The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion

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by Hugh B. Urban
     
 

"Hugh Urban has written an engaging book that tells the story of Scientology more thoroughly and in a more balanced way than any other treatment of the topic thus far. Were that not enough, this is also a book with much to say about the central question that has come to be debated among contemporary scholars of religion: What, after all, is this thing we call

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Overview

"Hugh Urban has written an engaging book that tells the story of Scientology more thoroughly and in a more balanced way than any other treatment of the topic thus far. Were that not enough, this is also a book with much to say about the central question that has come to be debated among contemporary scholars of religion: What, after all, is this thing we call religion?"—Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University

"Urban's compelling book provides a critical but balanced assessment of this very controversial new religion, highlighting the ways Hubbard and his church reflect the fear and suspicion, yet also the boundless national optimism, so characteristic of cold war America. This book will become the source for reliable information on Scientology."—Lorne L. Dawson, University of Waterloo, author of Comprehending Cults

"Until now there was no extensive scholarship on the Church of Scientology in existence. With the appearance of Urban's powerful and provocative new book, we are without question on radically new historical and theoretical ground with respect to the study of Scientology and, I dare say, new American religious movements in general. In every way, this is a major achievement."—Jeffrey J. Kripal, Rice University, author of Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691158051
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/24/2013
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
1,059,682
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: The World's Most Controversial New Religion and Why No One Writes About It 1
Chapter One: L. Ron Hubbard: American Entrepreneur, Spiritual Bricoleur 26
Chapter To: Scientology, Inc.: Becoming a "Religion" in the 1950s 57
Chapter Tree: Cold War Religion: Scientology, Secrecy, and Security n the 1950s and 60s 89
Chapter Four: Thee "Cult of All Cults"? Scientology and the Cult Wars of the 1970s and 80s 118
Chapter Five: "The War" and the Triumph of Scientology: Becoming a Tax-Exempt Religion in the 1990s 155
Chapter Six: Secrets, Security, and Cyberspace: Scientology's New Wars of Information on the Internet 178
Conclusion: New Religions, Freedom, and Privacy in the Post-9/11 World 201
Appendix: A Timeline of Major Events in Scientology's Complex Journey to Becoming a "Religion" 217
Notes 221
Selected Bibliography 257
Index 265

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