As the International Convention on Law and Freedom of Belief in Europe gets underway in Florence, Italy, one of the keynote speakers is Professor Aldo Natale Terrin of the University of Padua, author of the book Scientology. Libertà e immortalità (Scientology: Freedom and Immortality) published in October 2017.
Terrin, a Catholic priest, is one of the speakers on the topic Sociology of Religion. An Emeritus Professor of the Pastoral Liturgical Institute of Santa Giustina, Terrin is an expert on philosophy of religions.
In a December 17, 2017, interview with Tele-Padua, Terrin was asked about his new book and why he views Scientology as a religion. He answered that Scientology teaches that the individual is a spirit and the spirit is free and immortal. This is the fundamental truth of any religion, Terrin says.
He also spoke of the Scientology belief in life beyond death and that Scientology does not believe “one has a spirit,” but that one “is the spirit.”
The interviewer asked about “sects” and he pointed out that, viewed sociologically, all religions were considered “sects” until they reached a certain level of acceptance, at which point they come to be called religions. But he pointed out this is a sociological matter and has no bearing on the religiosity of the movement.
Scientology can be classified as a gnostic religion, according to Terrin, because of its belief that salvation comes from knowledge and an increase in self-awareness. It is a religious philosophy, stated Terrin, based on knowledge and understanding.