Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia

Church of Christ, Scientist.

Founded by Mary Morse (nee Baker) Eddy,* who claimed to have experienced a miraculous healing at Lynn, Massachusetts, after reading Mt 9:1–8. Of this experience she says: “It was in Massachusetts, in the year 1866, that I discovered the Science of Divine Metaphysical Healing, which I afterwards named Christian Science. The discovery came to pass in this way. During twenty years prior to my discovery I had been trying to trace all physical effects to a mental cause; and in the latter part of 1866 I gained the Scientific certainty that all causation was Mind, and every effect a mental phenomenon” (Retrospection and Introspection [Boston, 1891], p. 32). “I knew the Principle of all harmonious Mind-action to be God, and that cures were produced in primitive Christian healing by holy, uplifting faith; but I must know the Science of this healing, and I won my way to absolute conclusions through divine revelation, reason, and demonstration.” (Science and Health, p. 109)

She spent 1866–75 in retirement and preliminary work. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures was pub. 1875; all authorized eds. have uniform paging. Scholars have explored the connection bet. the tenets of this book and the metaphysical method of healing of P. P. Quimby,* oriental religions and philosophies, Neoplatonism,* mysticism,* and Gnosticism*

The Church of Christ, Scientist, was founded in Boston 1879. Christian Scientists from other areas were at first added to this cong. In 1892 the ch. was reorganized and est. as The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist; all other Christian Science chs. (ca. 3,200) are branches of it. Its Church Manual forbids numbering its mems. and reporting such figures for pub.

The Church of Christ, Scientist, has no clergy; readers conduct services; teachers instruct classes in Christian Science; practitioners engage in healing.

The fundamental principles of Christian Science are: “1. God is All-in-all. 2. God is good. Good is Mind. 3. God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter. 4. Life, God, omnipotent good, deny death, evil, sin, disease.—Disease, sin, evil, death, deny good, omnipotent God, Life” (Science and Health, p. 113). God is “the divine Principle,” individual but not personal, reflected by everything real and eternal; as mind He fills all space. Life, truth, and love constitute the trinity. The atonement of Christ exemplifies “man's unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love.” (Science and Health, p. 18)

Christian Science holds that all reality is in God and His creation, which is good. The only reality of sin, sickness, and death is the fact that unrealities seem real to erring human belief. Its adherents are taught to overcome evil by regarding it as unreality.

Publications: The Christian Science Journal, founded 1883; Christian Science Quarterly, 1890; Christian Science Sentinel, 1898; The Herald of Christian Science, 1903, pub. in various languages; The Christian Science Monitor, 1908. EL.

See also New Thought.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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