J. Gordon Melton, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at the Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University, in Waco, Texas. For over forty years he has also served as director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion, now based in Woodway, Texas. Prior to moving to Baylor in 2011, he served as research specialist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where the Davidson Library on campus now houses the J. Gordon Melton American Religion Collection. Dr. Melton is the author of hundreds of articles and more than thirty-five books on the academic study of religion, including Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions (8th edition, 2009); Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Belief and Practice (2nd edition, 2010); Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations (2011); and most recently the four-volume Faiths across Time: 5,000 Years of Religious History (2014). He is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College (B.A., 1964), Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1968), and Northwestern University (Ph.D., 1975), and also ordained as an elder in the United Methodist Church. He sits on the international board of the Center for Studies in New Religions (CESNUR) based in Turin, Italy.
Brief Analyses of The Religious Nature of Scientology
Emerging in the early 1950s, the Scientology religion since its inception has drawn much interest over the years from religious scholars around the world.
This study contains four brief analyses from the hundreds of existing studies published on Scientology. They were written in the years 1978 to 1981. Their authors represent unique perspectives and geographical and philosophical diversity.