Although there has been relatively little scholarly research on Scientology apart from the remarkable works of Roy Wallis, Harriet Whitehead, James R. Lewis, and Hugh B. Urban, that is changing as indicated by the large number of submissions in response to the call for papers for the first international conference on Scientology held in Antwerpen-Wilrijke, Belgium, in 2014. The articles in this special issue of Nova Religio explore what appear to be peripheral aspects of Scientology in order to get at its core. This method of moving from the periphery to the center of this religious tradition and its institutions reflects the difficulty scholars still encounter in obtaining fundamental data relating to the Church of Scientology.

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