International Journal for the Study of New Religions, Vol 5, No 1 (2014)

Emblematic Architecture and the Routinization of Charisma in Scientology

Mikael Rothstein

Abstract


Departing from a comparative overview, and based on Weber’s theory of charismatic routinisation, this article explores the cult of L. Ron Hubbard in the Church of Scientology with regard to the Church’s developing investments in real estate and impressive buildings. It is argued that Hubbard’s charismatic authority has been transferred to the buildings, and that these potent items of religious hardware (the various constructions), have pushed aside the otherwise attention demanding question of Hubbard’s possible reincarnation, and thus presence in another human body. This focus on buildings and their use, it is argued, allows Scientology’s leadership to rule without being challenged by potential Hubbard-claimants.

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DOI: 10.1558/ijsnr.v5i1.51

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