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The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion Hardcover – August 22, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (August 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069114608X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691146089
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,069,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What I enjoyed most about this book is that it is not just a book on Scientology, but on religion and it's role in the modern world. I am sure there are many on either side of the Scientology fence, the same fence that I have been straddling for some time now, who either don't want to read about "those crazy Scientologists" or don't want to read another attack on the church. I can assure both of these prospective readers that this work is neither. You may get a feeling one way or another (and back and forth) as you progress through the book, but that is what makes the case of Scientology so damn interesting.

The book is primarily about the definition of religion. By "definition of religion" Urban goes beyond the question of "What is Religion?" and into the causes and effects of that definition: who makes it and what are the consequences. Scientology has raised many important questions about the roles of religious freedom and privacy that are discussed in detail throughout this book, along with many others that have left me sitting here, grappling with my own thoughts and feelings on religion, thoughts and feelings that I thought were cemented through my previous studies and experiences.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning the history of Scientology, but more so to those intrigued by the intersection of religion, politics, and privacy. I look forward to follow up works by this author as well as others, grappling some of the increasingly important questions raised in these pages.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent introduction to Scientology. Urban does not judge the movement, but rather uses it to ask the question "what is religion?". Since that question has never been adequately answered, using a new religious movement as a test case is an effective method. The reader will learn much about the history and background of Scientology, but the conclusions s/he draws are left to the reader.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have read several very good books on Scientology that employed a more "journalistic" approach (which tends to be a bit more biased), but this was a refreshingly straightforward, academic handling of the subject matter. The material really speaks for itself; at this point, the "Church" of Scientology practically seems to be begging for bias.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book fine
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you think that Tom Cruise is crazy and you want to know more about the mysterious Church of Scientology this book is for you. This was a required text for a class of mine but it was one of the best academic texts that I have read due to the authors arrangement of many of the controversial topics which surround the it.
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