Scientology in Popular Culture Influences and Struggles for Legitimacy

Author: Stephen A. Kent
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1440832501
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This multidisciplinary study of Scientology examines the organization and the controversies around it through the lens of popular culture, referencing movies, television, print, and the Internet—an unusual perspective that will engage a wide range of readers and researchers. • Discusses Scientology within the framework of popular culture, which is how most people outside the religion come in contact with it • Approaches the study of Scientology from multiple viewpoints, enabling readers to have an informed, multicultural perspective on the religious group's beliefs and practices from which to form their own opinion • Presents information about Scientology derived from one of the largest university archive collections on the subject worldwide, with a number of documents never before having been referenced in scholarship

Among the Scientologists

Author: Donald Westbrook
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0190664975
Format: PDF
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The Church of Scientology is one of the most recognizable American-born new religions, but perhaps the least understood. With academic and popular interest on the rise, many books have been written about Scientology and surely more will follow. Although academics have begun to pay more attention to Scientology, the subject has received remarkably little qualitative attention. Indeed, no work has systematically addressed such questions as: what do Scientologists themselves have to say about their religion's history, theology, and practices? How does Scientology act as a religion for them? What does "lived religion" look like for a Scientologist? This is not so much a book about the Church of Scientology, its leaders, or its controversies, as it is a compilation of narratives and histories based on the largely unheard or ignored perspectives of Scientologists themselves. Drawing on six years of interviews, fieldwork, and research conducted among members of the Church of Scientology, this groundbreaking work examines features of the new religion's history, theology, and praxis in ways that move discussion beyond apostate-driven and exposé accounts.

From Slogans to Mantras

Author: Stephen A. Kent
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
ISBN: 9780815629238
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book takes a provocative look at the early 1970s - an often overlooked yet colorful period when the Vietnam War and student protests were on the wane as new religious groups grew in size and visibility. Certainly, religious strains were evident through postwar popular culture from the 1950s Beat generation into the 1960s drug counterculture, but the explosion of nontraditional religions during the early 1970s was unprecedented. This phenomenon took place in the United States (and at the edges of American-influenced Canadian society) among young people who had been committed to bringing about what they called the revolution but were converting to a wide variety of Eastern and Western mystical and spiritual movements. Stephen Kent maintains that the failure of political activism led former radicals to become involved with groups such as the Hare Krishnas, Scientology, Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, the Jesus movement, and the Children of God. Drawing on scholarly literature, alternative press reportage, and personal narratives, Kent shows how numerous activists turned from psychedelia and political activism to guru worship and spiritual quest as a response to the failure

Going Clear

Author: Lawrence Wright
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0385350279
Format: PDF, Mobi
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National Book Award Finalist A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology. At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige—tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard. We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract. In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is. From the Hardcover edition.

Typewriter in the Sky

Author: L. Ron Hubbard
Publisher: Galaxy Press LLC
ISBN: 1592121365
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Modern man Mike de Wolf gets stranded in a pirate adventure being written by his friend Horace Hackett and finds himself fighting for his life as the villainous Miguel de Lobo, while trying to figure out how to extricate himself from Horace's fatal plot.

Tom Cruise

Author: Andrew Morton
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781429933902
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Andrew Morton uncovers the true story of the biggest celebrity of our age. Everyone knows Tom Cruise—or at least what he wants us to know. We know that the man behind the smile overcame a tough childhood to star in astonishing array of blockbusters: Top Gun, Rain Man, Born on the Fourth of July, A Few Good Men, Jerry Maguire, several Mission: Impossible movies, and more. We know he has taken artistic chances, too, earning him three Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. But beyond that, the picture becomes a bit less clear... We know that Tom is a devoted follower of the Church of Scientology. We know that, despite persistent rumors about his sexuality, he has been married to Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes. But it was not until he jumped on Oprah's couch to proclaim his love for Katie and denounced Brooke Shields for turning to the "Nazi science" of psychiatry that we began to realize how much we did not know about the charming, hardworking star. For all the headlines and the rumors, the real Tom Cruise has remained surprisingly hidden—until now.

Fiction Invention and Hyper reality

Author: Carole M. Cusack
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317135490
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The twentieth century was a period of rapid change for religion. Secularisation resulted in a dramatic fall in church attendance in the West, and the 1950s and 1960s saw the introduction of new religions including the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), the Church of Scientology, and the Children of God. New religions were regarded with suspicion by society in general and Religious Studies scholars alike until the 1990s, when the emergence of a second generation of 'new new' religions – based on popular cultural forms including films, novels, computer games and comic books – and highly individualistic spiritualities confirmed the utter transformation of the religio-spiritual landscape. Indeed, Scientology and ISKCON appeared almost traditional and conservative when compared to the radically de-institutionalised, eclectic, parodic, fun-loving and experimental fiction-based, invented and hyper-real religions. In this book, scholarly treatments of cutting-edge religious and spiritual trends are brought into conversation with contributions by representatives of Dudeism, the Church of All Worlds, the Temple of the Jedi Order and Tolkien spirituality groups. This book will simultaneously entertain, shock, challenge and delight scholars of religious studies, as well as those with a wider interest in new religious movements.

Notes on the Death of Culture

Author: Mario Vargas Llosa
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374710317
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A provocative essay collection that finds the Nobel laureate taking on the decline of intellectual life In the past, culture was a kind of vital consciousness that constantly rejuvenated and revivified everyday reality. Now it is largely a mechanism of distraction and entertainment. Notes on the Death of Culture is an examination and indictment of this transformation—penned by none other than Mario Vargas Llosa, who is not only one of our finest novelists but one of the keenest social critics at work today. Taking his cues from T. S. Eliot—whose essay "Notes Toward a Definition of Culture" is a touchstone precisely because the culture Eliot aimed to describe has since vanished—Vargas Llosa traces a decline whose ill effects have only just begun to be felt. He mourns, in particular, the figure of the intellectual: for most of the twentieth century, men and women of letters drove political, aesthetic, and moral conversations; today they have all but disappeared from public debate. But Vargas Llosa stubbornly refuses to fade into the background. He is not content to merely sign a petition; he will not bite his tongue. A necessary gadfly, the Nobel laureate Vargas Llosa, here vividly translated by John King, provides a tough but essential critique of our time and culture.

Science and Religion

Author: Yiftach Fehige
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317335236
Format: PDF
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This volume situates itself within the context of the rapidly growing interdisciplinary field that is dedicated to the study of the complex interactions between science and religion. It presents an innovative approach insofar as it addresses the Eurocentrism that is still prevalent in this field. At the same time it reveals how science develops in the space that emerges between the ‘local’ and the ‘global’. The volume examines a range of themes central to the interaction between science and religion: ‘Eastern’ thought within ‘Western’ science and religion and vice versa, and revisits thinkers who sought to integrate ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ thinking. It studies Zen Buddhism and its relation to psychotherapy, Islamic science, Vedantic science, atheism in India, and Darwinism, offering in turn new perspectives on a variety of approaches to nature. Part of the Science and Technology Studies series, this volume brings together original perspectives from major scholars from across disciplines and will be of great interest to scholars and students of science and technology studies, history of science, philosophy of science, religious studies, and sociology.

Taking It Big

Author: Steven P. Dandaneau
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1452221987
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book is intended as an accessible, current, and uncompromised introduction to what C Wright Mills called the sociological imagination. It explains and demonstrates the value of the sociological imagination vis-[gr]a-vis the demands of today's postmodern society, critically addresses the chief forces working against its development, and invites students to adopt this form of self-consciousness as their own.