To be or not to be a Religion? Scientology and the Moonies

Over the last few years, I have been visited a number of times by representatives from both the Scientologists and the Moonies (although the latter go under a whole range of names). They’re nice people, and earnestly desiring to be accepted as bona fide religions.

Well, I know that the Church doesn’t usually regard them as such. But who knows? The Mormons, after all, got included on the guest list for the Ecumenical (ie. Christian) meeting with the Pope in the US.

There have been two very interesting programs on ABC Radio National lately on the subject, one by Rachel Kohn on the Spirit of Things on the Moonies and one by Stephen Crittenden on the Religion Report on Scientology.

I would like the time to do some study into the theoretical difference between a “world religion” (ie. respectable and possible dialogue partner) and a “cult” (ie. not respectable and to be treated with disdain) in inter-religious dialoge.

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