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The Church of Scientology (Melton)

The Church of Scientology is a 2000 book about the Church of Scientology by religious scholar J. Gordon Melton. It is the first of a series of books on new religious movements published by the Center for Studies on New Religions.

The Church of Scientology
The Church of Scientology.jpg
AuthorJ. Gordon Melton
CountryUnited States
SeriesStudies in Contemporary Religions
SubjectChurch of Scientology
PublisherSignature Books
Publication date
August 2000
Media typePrint (Paperback
299/.936 21
LC ClassBP605.S2 M46 2000


Melton deals with the history and development of Scientology, covering such matters as church's structure and organization, ethics, and nonprofit initiatives. He also deals with the church's views regarding religious freedom and human rights, as well as its members efforts to win their own religious freedom and human rights.[1] He also deals with the question the Church itself has often been asked, whether it does qualify as a religion.[2]


The book was well-received on publication. Derek Davis in the Journal of Church and State said "Few books pack as much information into so little space."[1] Catherine Ritchie in Library Journal called it a brief, well-balanced guide to the controversial movement, and a good choice for public libraries.[2] Jana Riess in Publishers Weekly said it was a rare, welcome impartial treatment of the subject by an outsider and that it did an admirable job covering the bases and showing the views of both the Church and its detractors.[3]


  1. ^ a b Davis, Derek H. (Autumn 2000). "The Church of Scientology". Journal of Church and State. 42 (4): 851. doi:10.1093/jcs/42.4.851.
  2. ^ a b Ritchie, Catherine (October 1, 2003). "The Church of Scientology (Book)". Library Journal. 128 (16): 51.
  3. ^ Riess, Jana (September 11, 2000). "The Church of Scientology". Publishers Weekly. 247 (37): 86.