Alejandro Frigerio, Ph.D., works as an independent researcher at CONICET (National Council of Scientific and Technical Research) at the Centre for Sociological Research of Catholic University of Argentina and is a professor in the master of social anthropology and politics program at FLACSO (Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences) in Argentina. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Anthropology and History in the National School of Anthropology and History in Mexico City, in addition to other academic positions. Dr. Frigerio has published prolifically in Spanish in the fields of history and religion, including El Pentecostalismo en Argentina (Pentecostalism in Argentina 1994); and El estudio científico de la religión a fines del siglo XX (The Scientific Study of Religion in the Late Twentieth Century, 1994); and Argentinos e Brasileiros. Encontros, imagens, estereótipos (Argentines and Brazilians: Meetings, Images, Stereotypes, 2002).
Scientology and Contemporary Definitions of Religion in the Social Sciences
In this article, originally published in 1999, Professor Alejandro Frigerio addresses the question of whether and in what ways Scientology counts as a religion, by surveying various contemporary definitions at play in the social sciences. As Dr. Frigerio explains, these include substantive, comparative, functional, analytical, and emic definitions and criteria. “As a result of the analysis undertaken here,” he explains, “we can conclude that Scientology is a religion from all...