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Encyclopedia > Christian science

Christian Science is a religious teaching regarding the efficacy of spiritual healing according to the interpretation of the Bible by Mary Baker Eddy, in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (first published in 1875). Students of Christian Science are usually, though not always or necessarily, members of the Church of Christ, Scientist. Efficacy is the ability to produce a desired amount of a desired effect. ... Mary Baker Eddy (born Mary Morse Baker July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 and was the author of its fundamental doctrinal textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ... Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy, is the foundation of the Christian Science movement. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ...


Christian Science should not be confused with material or physical science. Christian Science has no connection with Scientology, and is distinct from Christian fundamentalism. A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Doctrine Practices Concepts People Public outreach Organization Controversy Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by American pulp fiction author L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 as an outgrowth of his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. ... Look up fundamentalism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Contents

Overview

Christian Science was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in the 19th century.


At the core of Christian Science is the teaching that God and God's creation are entirely good and spiritual, and that God has made all things in His likeness. Christian Scientists hold that the reality of being and of all existence is spiritual, not material. They see this spiritual reality as the only reality and all else as illusion or 'error'. Christian Science acknowledges that we all seem to be experiencing a material existence, but holds that this experience ultimately yields to a true spiritual understanding of God and creation. They believe that this is how healing through prayer is possible. [1] This article is about the biblical text. ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... For the philosophical movement, see Existentialism. ... Look up material in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Reality (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see illusion (disambiguation). ...


Prayer, from the Christian Science perspective, does not ask God to intervene, but is rather a process of learning more of God's spiritual reality - "awakening mortal thought", by degrees, to spiritual truth. Christian Scientists claim the effect of this spiritualization of thought is healing, -- physical, emotional, and otherwise. Consequently, health care is not attempted through drugs, surgery, or other physical manipulation, but through "Christian Science treatment", a specific form of prayer intended to spiritualize thought.[2]. Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy, François Lemoyne, 1737 For other uses, see Truth (disambiguation). ... In psychology and common terminology, emotion is the language of a persons internal state of being, normally based in or tied to their internal (physical) and external (social) sensory feeling. ... A physician visiting the sick in a hospital. ... For other uses, see Drug (disambiguation). ... “Surgeon” redirects here. ...


While there is no formal compulsion on Christian Scientists either to use Christian Science healing or to eschew medical means[3] Christian Scientists avoid using the two systems simultaneously in the belief that they tend to counteract or contradict each other. Material medicine and Christian Science treatment proceed from diametrically opposite assumptions. Medicine asserts that something is physically broken and needs to be fixed, while Christian Science asserts that the spiritual reality is harmonious and perfect, and that any false belief to the contrary needs to be corrected. Look up formal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Today it is estimated that there are 400,000 or more students of Christian Science in over 60 countries worldwide. There are anywhere between 1,850 to 2,000 branch congregations in the Christian Science church.[4]


The Christian Science Journal and the Christian Science Sentinel document Christian Science healing. These are sometimes supported by the observations of medical practitioners involved prior to the application of Christian Science healing, and verified by three other parties. The Christian Science Journal is an official monthly publication of the Church of Christ, Scientist through the Christian Science Publishing Society, founded in 1883 by Mary Baker Eddy. ... Christian Science Sentinel is the official weekly publication of the Church of Christ, Scientist through the Christian Science Publishing Society, founded in 1883 by Mary Baker Eddy. ...


Mary Baker Eddy began believing in this method of healing when she recovered from an injury in 1866 after rereading a passage of one of Jesus' healings. She believed that the method of healing must have been that used by Jesus Christ to heal the cases documented in the New Testament. Both her study of the Bible over many years and the application of what she learned to varied cases of illness in the late 19th century compelled Eddy to document her findings and teach her discovery to those who were interested. The resulting textbook, first copyrighted in 1875 and the primary source for learning Christian Science, is titled Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Mary Baker Eddy (born Mary Morse Baker July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 and was the author of its fundamental doctrinal textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ... 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... This article is about the Christian scriptures. ... Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy, is the foundation of the Christian Science movement. ...


Mary Baker Eddy defined Christian Science in these terms: "...the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony."[5] She saw it as "...the natural law of harmony which overcomes discord."[6]


Healing

The basis of Christian Science healing is the view that "man" (the male/female spiritual being who appears as an individual human being) is the reflection or expression of wholly good and perfect God, and therefore is perfect. Christian Scientists believe that God loves every individual, because God is the Creator of all. This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...


Christian Scientists also believe that sickness is the result of either fear, ignorance, or sin, and that when the erroneous belief is corrected, the sickness will disappear. They state that the way to eliminate the false beliefs is to replace them with true understanding of God's goodness. They consider that suffering can occur only when one believes in the supposed reality of a problem; if one changes one's understanding, the belief is revealed as false, and the acknowledgement that the sickness has no power since God is the only power, eliminates the sickness. For other uses, see Fear (disambiguation). ... Look up ignorance in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Sin (disambiguation). ...


Christian Scientists regard the material world as a kind of consensual illusion which is due to a misperception of the true spiritual world. Such a misperception can, they believe, be changed by reorientation of thought, or prayer in Christian Science terms. Thus the illusion can be dispelled, revealing the present spiritual reality. The result is healing. For other uses, see Prayer (disambiguation). ...


Prayer

Christian Science teaches that prayer is a spiritualization of thought or an understanding of God and the nature of the underlying spiritual creation. The world as it appears to the senses is regarded as a distorted version of the world of spiritual ideas: the latter is the only true reality. Prayer can heal the distortion, bringing spiritual reality (the "Kingdom of Heaven" in Biblical terms) into clearer focus in the human scene--not changing the spiritual creation but giving a clearer view of it. The result is healing. According to Christian Science there are not two creations, a spiritual and a material one, but only a spiritual creation which is incorrectly perceived as material. The Kingdom of Heaven (or the Kingdom of God, Hebrew מלכות השמים, malkhut hashamayim, Greek basileia tou theou) is a key concept detailed in all the three major monotheistic religions of the world — Islam, Judaism and Christianity. ...


Christian Scientists believe that prayer works through Love, and that this is the way Christ Jesus healed. Their aim is to reinstate the element of healing which, they believe, was lost with early Christianity. They cite such Bible texts as Mark 16:17-18; Matthew 10:8 in support of their contention that Christian faith demands demonstration in healing. This is a faith in the omnipotence of God, which according to the Christian Science interpretation of the Bible, logically rules out any other power: Luke 17:5-6. The Christian Science view is that Jesus taught that we should claim good as being present, right here and now, and that this will result in healing: (Matthew 21:22; Matthew 7:7-11). Christian Scientists point to Jesus' teaching that his followers would do "greater works" even than he did (John 14:12). For other uses, see Love (disambiguation). ... This article is about the figure known by both Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ. For other usages, see Jesus (disambiguation). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ...


An important point in Christian Science is that the healing of sin is more important than the healing of physical disease, and that prayer and the moral regeneration of one's life go hand-in-hand. (Christian Science teaches that while disease may be a result of sin or wrong-doing it is not necessarily so--it may equally be the result of fear, or ignorance of God's power and goodness.) The chapter on "Prayer" in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, gives a full account of healing through prayer, while the testimonies at the end of the book are written by people who believe they have been healed through spiritual understanding. Christian Scientists claim no monopoly on the application of God's healing power through prayer, and welcome it wherever it occurs. For other uses, see Sin (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fear (disambiguation). ... Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy, is the foundation of the Christian Science movement. ... Mary Baker Eddy (born Mary Morse Baker July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 and was the author of its fundamental doctrinal textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ...


Philosophy

Christian Science might be considered as a form of theistic monistic idealism: there is but one substance which is God and in Whom we are all embraced in love. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy cites Christian Science as an extreme form of philosophical idealism. This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedias quality standards. ... Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its properties. ...


Christian Science shares with George Berkeley a belief in the unreality of matter, but it rejects matter not just as a superfluous term or concept; for, according to Christian Science, what we call the material world is a distortion of the underlying spiritual reality, a distortion which can be dispelled through prayer. Christian Science, like Buddhism, believes in the illusory nature of the world of the senses, but unlike Buddhism it does not believe that aging and death are inevitable - according to Christian Science they can be overcome with the defeat of sin or "mortal mind": (John 8:51). Consequently immortality (or ascension) is possible, and indeed in the longer term it is inevitable. The reality of each one of us is believed to be a spiritual idea only and not born of the flesh. Therefore, birth and death are illusions, because the material body is considered an illusion. Christian Science believes that Christ overcame death and ascended because he understood spiritual reality. For the second husband of Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk, see George Berkeley (MP). ... This article is about matter in physics and chemistry. ... For other uses, see Prayer (disambiguation). ... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ... For other uses, see Sin (disambiguation). ... This article is about living for infinite period of time. ...


Christian Science teaches that the spiritualization of consciousness can (and should) have a practical effect in physical , as well as in moral regeneration. Christian Science was articulated by Mary Baker Eddy who rejected the "coldness" of traditional philosophy and emphasized the importance of spiritual love as well as abstract thought, and the integration of thought and feeling. She claimed that it is not enough to think true thoughts: our consciousness must be imbued with the Love which is God, and furthermore that Love must be lived as well as felt. She referred to this futility of a mere intellectualism, in Science & Health 366:30-9, stating: "If we would open their prison doors for the sick, we must first learn to bind up the broken-hearted. If we would heal by the Spirit, we must not hide the talent of spiritual healing under the napkin of its form, nor bury the morale of Christian Science in the grave-clothes of its letter. The tender word and Christian encouragement of an invalid, pitiful patience with his fears and the removal of them, are better than hecatombs of gushing theories, stereotyped borrowed speeches, and the doling of arguments, which are but so many parodies on legitimate Christian Science, aflame with divine Love." Mary Baker Eddy (born Mary Morse Baker July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 and was the author of its fundamental doctrinal textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ... For other uses, see Love (disambiguation). ...


In light of the above, the question might be asked as to what one "loves" in a spiritual or Christian (agape) sense about those closest to us. It is presumably nothing physical or material, as those material/physical attributes would refer to materially human personality or psychology, as opposed to God's creation. Loving, in a Christian Science sense is "seeing," witnessing to or upholding, accepting as valid only the spiritual individuality or identity of each individual as God's likeness or expression or idea. This spiritual identity consists of this individual's own particular reflection of the qualities, attributes or ideas of their Maker/Creator/God, such as love, innocence, intelligence, and so forth. In Christian Science terms these are the 'real' qualities that constitute our true spiritual being, eternally known to God and maintained by God regardless of what the finite material senses testify to. These qualities cannot be perceived materially but only through spiritual sense, which Mary Baker Eddy defines as "a conscious, constant capacity to understand God". (S&H 219:1-2) This is an understanding of what God is and what our relationship to God is. Agapē (IPA: or IPA: ) (Gk. ...


Evil

The Christian Science position on the nature of evil might be described as follows:


"Evil is a negation, because it is the absence of truth. It is nothing, because it is the absence of something. It is unreal, because it presupposes the absence of God, the omnipotent and omnipresent. Every mortal must learn that there is neither power nor reality in evil." (S&H 186:12-15)


This statement should not be taken that Christian Scientists ignore the belief of evil, and its' effects, but they do not see evil as either an aspect of God or a power separate from God. It's not really "real" because it is not part of God's being or His creation. But it may appear to be real as a mistaken concept of God and man -- a dualistic sense of God as both good and bad. Christian Scientists believe God and His creation to be wholly and only good.


To answer the question of whether God punishes evil-doers, Christian Scientists might say that it's not that God consciously punishes evil-doers, but that any thought or action contrary to our God-given goodness results in some kind of suffering, like the misunderstanding of a mathematical principle results in incorrect answers; the principles of mathematics aren't causing the mistakes, rather, the mistakes are the result of a misconception of the principle. Evil does not exist the only reality is truth.


Science

Christian Scientists are not Creationists or biblical literalists - they regard the Bible as often having symbolic rather than literal meaning. Consequently they do not believe that the Theory of Evolution is necessarily false from a mortal, material perspective--they do not object to its being taught in schools, nor do they demand that alternative accounts be taught. They regard it, even if "true," as referring to the illusory, mortal realm rather than the spiritual. For similar reasons, Christian Science does not object to contemporary geology, cosmology, or biology. Christian Science periodicals occasionally cite developments in cosmology and physics as indicating how contemporary science is coming to an understanding of the illusory nature of time and materiality (e.g. Gerber, 2002, p. 3). This article is about biological evolution. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... This article is about the physics subject. ... Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology (from Greek: βίος, bio, life; and λόγος, logos, knowledge), also referred to as the biological sciences, is the study of living organisms utilizing the scientific method. ...


In regard to the scientificity or otherwise of Christian Science healing, even if a change in thought seems to result in a change in human experience (like physical healing) there is no obvious means of connecting the supposed cause with the observed effect. According to the widely, though not universally, accepted ideas of Karl Popper, a scientific theory must be falsifiable. There is no obvious way to set up an experiment whereby the claims of Christian Science could be falsified. In this sense any claim that Christian Science has to being scientific, except in the much looser sense of "science" as "knowing" (Latin "scio"), is questionable. However, the term "Christian Science" predates modern discussions regarding scientific method. Sir Karl Raimund Popper CH FRS FBA (July 28, 1902 â€“ September 17, 1994) was an Austrian and British[1] philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics. ... Falsifiability (or refutability or testability) is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment. ...


Theology

In terms of Christian theology, Christian Science bears some similarity to the teachings of Origen and Meister Eckhart. However, it rejects the attribute of mysticism to its teachings, and should not be confused with pantheism. Origen Origen (Greek: Ōrigénēs, 185–ca. ... The Meister Eckhart portal of the Erfurt Church. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ...


Christian Science avoids the theological problem of evil by its teaching of the unreality or nothingness of evil. However, it does not address the "problem" of where the illusion of evil came from – beyond the position that, since it is nothing, it came from nowhere. (Asking the question, for Christian Scientists, is like a mathematician spending his/her time trying to work out where the illusion that 2+2=5 came from – a waste of time that gets one nowhere and indeed postpones the solution of the problem.) Christian Scientists believe that if one changes a belief in evil to an "understanding" of the universality of good, one's experience will adjust accordingly, and that eventually the question "where does evil come from" will disappear with the negative phenomena that occasioned it. In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of a god. ...


Christian Science differs from conventional theology since it regards God as both Father and Mother. This does not refer to any anthropomorphic, quasi-physical characteristics, but simply to the teaching that God is characterized by qualities traditionally considered feminine (gentleness, compassion, nurturing and so on) as well as by those traditionally considered masculine (strength, principle, protection etc.) According to Christian Science, every person, as God's image or reflection, embodies those qualities as well in their essential being. This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Anthropomorphism, also referred to as personification or prosopopeia, is the attribution of human characteristics to inanimate objects, animals, forces of nature, and others. ...


Christian Science distinguishes between "Jesus" the man, and "the Christ" or divine manifestation. In considering the question of the relationship between divinity and humanity in reference to Christ Jesus, it is important to consider the Christian Science definition of God as "The great I AM."


While some Christian Science teachings are unorthodox from the point of view of conventional theology (as in the rejection of substitutionary atonement and of Hell as a place of eternal punishment), others are orthodox (acceptance of the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection of Jesus). Substitutionary atonement is the act of restoring balances by substitution. ... The Inferno redirects here. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Look up Resurrection in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


While Christian Scientists revere Mary Baker Eddy as the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, they do not regard her as having added anything to essential Christianity but simply as having elaborated its essence and consequences. (A comparison might be made to the status of Thomas Aquinas for Catholics, Martin Luther for Lutherans, or John Calvin for Calvinists.) Mary Baker Eddy (born Mary Morse Baker July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 and was the author of its fundamental doctrinal textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P.(also Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino; c. ... Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. ... John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was a French Protestant theologian during the Protestant Reformation and was a central developer of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism or Reformed theology. ...


Another way to illustrate the foundations of the theology of Christian Science is to consider the problems involved in the philosophy of dualism. Many belief systems posit a "god versus something else" or "spirit versus matter". Mary Baker Eddy in a sense followed the reductionism of her time, but instead of reducing all things to the material, she reduced all things to the spiritual.


Christ and the Trinity

Webster's online dictionary [m-w.com] defines the term Christ in Christian Science as "The ideal truth that comes as a divine manifestation of God to destroy incarnate error." This definition mirrors Mary Baker Eddy's own definition in Science and Health as "The divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error." Both definitions establish the Christ as completely divine, both spiritual and not material. Jesus, the son of God therefore embodied the Christ to such a degree that he, and he alone will carry the title Christ, but as a corporeal being he was not the totality of the Christ. This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ... Mary Baker Eddy (born Mary Morse Baker July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 and was the author of its fundamental doctrinal textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ... This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ... This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ...


Mary Baker Eddy writes "Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the spiritual idea – the reflection of God – has come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth" and even today, the Christ, according to Christian Science belief, continues to come to mankind, giving us a greater understanding of our holy spiritual identity through healing and the destruction of sin. This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ...


Although many uphold the Trinity as defined by the Nicene Creed, the Trinity in Christian Science is found in the unity of God, the Christ, and divine Science, or: "God the Father-Mother; Christ the spiritual idea of sonship; divine Science or the Holy Comforter." Icon depicting the Holy Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea holding the Nicene Creed. ...


Medicine

Many Christian Scientists find the effectiveness of their healing system makes it their first choice for treatment over drugs and surgery. They believe in following the example of Jesus, bringing the real or ideal man more clearly into thought. Christian Scientists believe that Jesus was "the Wayshower", a proof by example of the divine method of healing sin, sickness and death. According to the Christian Science belief, there are no limits to the type of medical conditions that can be healed through prayer.


The Christian Science Church does not forbid the use of medicine by its members, nor does the Church exert informal pressure on them to eschew it. Though Christian Scientists respect the work of medical practitioners, most of them prefer to use prayer and to rely on God. Christian Scientists who choose to rely on medical treatment for a specific problem normally give up Christian Science treatment for the period of treatment. This is because one treatment approaches healing from a material and the other from a spiritual perspective, and thus they are incompatible. Christian Scientists are practical when it comes to using material aids such as vision correction, splints for broken bones and dental services and will use what is necessary at the time. However, numerous healings of short and long-sightedness, dental problems and broken bones have been recorded in the periodicals published by the Church, some of which have been confirmed by medical practitioners.[citation needed]


Mary Baker Eddy's views on this subject are as follows: "If Christian Scientists ever fail to receive aid from other Scientists--their brethren upon whom they may call,--God will still guide them into the right use of temporary and eternal means."[7]


Dissension

Throughout the history of Christian Science there have been a small number of dissenting branches, unacknowledged by the Boston organization. Such dissenters often point to certain "estoppel" clauses of the last Church Manual issued by Mary Baker Eddy before her death which, had they been interpreted literally, would have led to a radical decentralization of the Christian Science Church. The issue has involved the Church in repeated litigation brought by dissenters, most prominently between 1919-22, when a group of Trustees of the Christian Science Publishing Society filed a suit against the Christian Science Board of Directors.[8] For the political magazine, see Dissent Magazine For the G8 protest group, see Dissent (network) Dissent is the sentiment of non-agreement with the majority, or the leader, of a group to which the dissenter is supposed to belong or to obey. ... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ... A lawsuit is a civil action brought before a court in order to recover a right, obtain damages for an injury, obtain an injunction to prevent an injury, or obtain a declaratory judgment to prevent future legal disputes. ...


Criticism of Christian Science

Christian Science has been criticized by skeptics from the very beginning. Mark Twain devoted an entire book to the topic, in which he humorously attacked not only the belief itself, but also its practitioners. (However, there was some ambivalence in his approach to Christian Science healing; his daughter, Clara Clemens Gabrilowitsch, became a Christian Scientist, and authored a book on the subject: Awake to a Perfect Day, published by Citadel Press, NYC, 1956.) Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),[1] better known by the pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, satirist, lecturer and writer. ...


Medical controversies

Christian Science is considered to be a religion, rather than a medical science, by medical practitioners. Critics point to cases of people who died following their choice of Christian Science care rather than medical treatment. Defenders counter that there is no similar burden placed on medical science to justify the hundreds of thousands who die each year under medical care.


Christian Scientists have been controversial for their failure to provide conventional health care for children (Asser and Swan, 1998). In the United States, the constitutional guarantee of protection of religious practice from intrusion by government has been used by Christian Scientists and other religious groups to seek exemption from legislative or regulatory requirements regarding child abuse and neglect, including medical neglect in more than three quarters of the states. There are now statutes in 44 states which contain a provision stating that a child is not to be deemed abused or neglected merely because he or she is receiving treatment by spiritual means, through prayer according to the tenets of a recognized religion. Although these exemptions take different forms and interpretations in different state jurisdictions, the overall effect has been to limit the ability of the state to prosecute parents for suspected or alleged abuse or medical neglect of children when such occurrences may be the result of religious practice. Severe (even fatal) physical discipline, failure to seek medical care, or refusal of a proven efficacious treatment of a critically ill child may be protected from prosecution because of the religious exemption clauses now found in a majority of state codes. (However, most of these cases do not involve Christian Scientists.) Child abuse is the physical or sexual maltreatment or neglect of children by parents, guardians, or others. ...


Two important sets of interests are in apparent opposition - those of children in the perceived benefits of medical care and those of parents in making a decision about their children's well-being. Some parents believe that the constitutionally protected freedom of religion allows them to choose the method of healing (spiritual or medical) they feel will best benefit their children. However, this interpretation of the US constitution is in contradiction to important court rulings to the effect that parents may not martyr their children based on parental beliefs and that children cannot be denied essential health care.[9] (A Christian Scientist would deem spiritual treatment as being "essential health care" that would most expediently lead to their child's health and well being.)


The Journal of the American Medical Association (22 September 1989) reported on a study of more than 5,500 "Christian Scientists" as compared to a "lay group" of almost 30,000. The death rate among "Christian Scientists" from cancer was double the national average, and 6 percent of them died from causes considered preventable by doctors. The "non-Christian Scientists" on the average lived four years longer if they were women and two longer if they were men. It was speculated that the reason for this was that male Christian Scientists are more likely to seek medical help than female believers. However, if that is so, the characterisation of the first group as "Christian Scientists" for the purpose of evaluating the healing system of Christian Science, must be misleading, since it is conceded that some of them may have been using medicine.


Furthermore, the "lay group" were presumably using conventional medicine or some alternative healing means rather than nothing at all — consequently the study only evaluates the comparative efficacy of Christian Science vis-a-vis some other system or systems, rather than its healing efficacy per se. Defenders point out that many people turn to Christian Science after medical techniques have failed; consequently, the two groups may not be comparable.


Since Christian Science practitioners do not diagnose disease, it is unclear how Christian Scientists are to know when they should avoid being in contact with others, in order to avoid infection or contagion. Similarly, it is unclear how they would know when to decide about having surgery before a condition — e.g. cancer — reaches the stage where it is considered inoperable.


Theological Controversies

Christian Science is criticized by some mainstream Christians for its theological differences (mostly due to its assertion of the illusory nature of the material world, its definition of "Jesus" and the "Christ", its explanation of the Trinity and a personal God, and its basis of the unreality of evil).


Adherents of Christian Science cite the Bible (e.g. Mark 16: 15-18 and Luke 10:1, 9, 17) as an indication that belief in God should be demonstrated in healing. Mary Baker Eddy, however, was no biblical fundamentalist, and as often been criticised by fundamentalists who believe that the Bible is both inerrant and free of internal contradictions. She wrote: "The decisions by vote of Church Councils as to what should and should not be considered Holy Writ; the manifest mistakes in the ancient versions; the thirty thousand different readings in the Old Testament, and the three hundred thousand in the New,--these facts show how a mortal and material sense stole into the divine record, with its own hue darkening to some extent the inspired pages." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 139.) This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ...


Christian Science offers an explanation of why, according to its teaching, evil is not sent from God and hence is not real. Mary Baker Eddy touches upon this subject in her book Unity of Good. In response to the question: "Does God know or behold sin, sickness, and death?" she writes: "The nature and character of God is so little apprehended and demonstrated by mortals, that I counsel my students to defer this infinite inquiry, in their discussions of Christian Science. In fact, they had better leave the subject untouched, until they draw nearer to the divine character, and are practically able to testify, by their lives, that as they come closer to the true understanding of God they lose all sense of error."


There has been internal controversy in the Christian Science movement regarding the status of Mary Baker Eddy herself. Some Christian Scientists claim (and others deny) that her appearance on the world stage was specifically prophesied in the Bible. Mary Baker Eddy (born Mary Morse Baker July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 and was the author of its fundamental doctrinal textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ...


Some Christian theologians characterize Christian Science as a cult (Martin, 2003) (also refer to external sites providing criticisms of Christian Science). A basis of such criticisms includes the comment of Mary Baker Eddy in reply to a questioner who asked how she knew there ever was such a person as Christ Jesus: Christian Science is a religious teaching regarding the efficacy of spiritual healing according to the interpretation of the Bible by Mary Baker Eddy, in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (first published in 1875). ...


"If there had never existed such a person as the Galilean Prophet, it would make no difference to me. I should still know that God's spiritual ideal is the only real man in His image and likeness."(Eddy, The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany, pp. 318, 319). This is interpreted by opponents of Christian Science as Mary Baker Eddy downgrading the importance of Jesus, rather than making a basic metaphysical point.


There are apparently contradictory statements on the question of the death of Jesus in Mary Baker Eddy's writings; since Christian Science teaches that death is an illusion, this may help to explain the apparent contradictions. The story of the Fall (from Genesis 2: 4 onwards) is to be regarded as an allegory. [citation needed] For other uses, see Death (disambiguation), Dead (disambiguation), Death (band) or Deceased (band). ... For other uses, see Genesis (disambiguation). ...


Christian Science and Civil Society

Christian Scientists, like Mary Baker Eddy herself, generally defend the separation of church and state as affording a protection for civil freedom and religion. However, Mary Baker Eddy insisted on obedience by Christian Scientists to state laws in regard to health care. Progressively for her time, she was in favour of women's rights, and rejected the "corporeal punishment" of children. (While she generally steered clear of politics per se, she stated her support of the Monroe Doctrine as well as her opposition to imperialism and economic monopoly--The Christian Science Monitor, which she founded, has traditionally been a staunch defender of civil liberties and individual freedom, though it did support the prohibition of alcohol.) Mary Baker Eddy (born Mary Morse Baker July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 and was the author of its fundamental doctrinal textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ... Constantines Conversion, depicting the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great to Christianity, by Peter Paul Rubens. ... U.S. President James Monroe The Monroe Doctrine is a U.S. doctrine which, on December 2, 1823, proclaimed that European powers would no longer colonize or interfere with the affairs of the newly independent nations of the Americas. ... The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) is an international newspaper published daily, Monday through Friday. ... The term Prohibition, also known as A Dry Law, refers to a law in a certain country by which the manufacture, transportation, import, export, and sale of alcoholic beverages is restricted or illegal. ...


Christian Science and homosexuality

Christian Science publications, including The Christian Science Sentinel, have in the past published testimonies where in the testifier describes their own healing of homosexuality. The writings of Mary Baker Eddy prescribe the living of a morally decent life. There is some dissent among Christian Scientists as to what exactly the position with regard to homosexuality ought to be; in this matter as in others (such as abortion) the Church itself chooses not to have an official position, as it is considered that each individual Christian Scientist should seek their highest sense of right through prayer.


Organizations

  • Adventure Unlimited is a Christian Science non-profit organization based in Denver, Colorado. Its purpose is to provide inspirational and educational activities and forums for Christian Scientists, especially children and youth.
  • Christian Science Organizations are established at many colleges and universities, and provide a functional resource for Christian Scientists in college for support and unity, but also aim to provide the public with a better understanding of Christian Science through prayer, public lectures, and contribution to informal discussions, health expositions, and other events catering to philosophical awareness, family unity, alternative healing methods, etc.
  • Christian Science Joint Broadcast Committee is a joint, non-profit effort between the Phoenix, Arizona churches to broadcast the healing message of Christian Science across various media. CSeNews.comwas started 10 years ago as an online newsletter for Phoenix Metropolitan Churches. It has grown into a worldwide Christian Science news, events and info site with thousands of subscribers and hundreds of visitors each day. The Joint Broadcast Committee also offers telephone numbers to listen any time of the day or night to the Weekly Bible Lesson (602) 222-6220 , Weekly Sentinel Radio program (602) 200-7002 and Heraldo en Espaňol (602) 200-7003. In addition to phone services, the Joint Broadcast Committee facilitates the airing of the Weekly Sentinel Radio program in the Four Corners region (Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona) as well as in the Phoenix Metro area.

Adventure Unlimited (commonly referred to as A/U) is a non-profit Christian Science organization based in Denver, Colorado. ...

See also

The Christian Science Herald is a publication of the Church of Christ, Scientist through the Christian Science Publishing Society, founded by Mary Baker Eddy, for languages other than English. ... The Christian Science Journal is an official monthly publication of the Church of Christ, Scientist through the Christian Science Publishing Society, founded in 1883 by Mary Baker Eddy. ... The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) is an international newspaper published daily, Monday through Friday. ... A Christian Science practitioner is an individual who devotes his or her full time to the practice of healing through prayer according to the teachings of Christian Science. ... Christian Science Sentinel is the official weekly publication of the Church of Christ, Scientist through the Christian Science Publishing Society, founded in 1883 by Mary Baker Eddy. ... A typical storefront Christian Science Reading Room on the main street of a suburb of Boston. ... Emergence International is a world-wide community of Christian Scientists, their families and friends, that provides spiritual and educational support for lesbians, gay men and transgender people within the Christian Science movement. ... List of Christian Science tenets, prayers, and statements and their texts has been transferred from Christian Science: // [1] [2] Our Father which art in heaven, Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious, Hallowed be Thy name. ... This list concerns the role members of the denomination called Church of Christ, Scientist had in world history. ... List of Former Christian Science Churches, Societies and Buildings Some are on the National Register of Historic Places // First Church of Christ, Scientist (Fort Pierce, Florida), on January 31, 1996, sold its church edifice at 911 Sunrise Boulevard for $110,000 to The Pentecoastal Church of God in America, Florida... Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy, is the foundation of the Christian Science movement. ... Mary Baker Eddy (born Mary Morse Baker July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 and was the author of its fundamental doctrinal textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. ...

Resources

  • Eddy, Mary Baker, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Boston: Trustees Under the Will of Mary Baker G. Eddy, 1934. (This book has gone through numerous editions.)
  • Gerber, Russ, "A Matter of Time: Russ Gerber Interviews Dr. Laurance Doyle," Christian Science Sentinel, 30 Dec. 2002, pp. 6-9.
  • Russell, Bertrand, History of Western Philosophy, London: Unwin, 1979.
  • Simpson, W. F. (September 22, 1989). Comparative longevity in a college cohort of Christian Scientists. Journal of the American Medical Association. Retrieved on 2006-10-17.
  • Asser, Seth M.; Rita Swan (April 1998). Child Fatalities From Religion-motivated Medical Neglect. Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved on 2006-10-17.
  • Martin, Walter; Jill Martin-Rische, Ravi Zacharias (Editor) (October 2003). The Kingdom of the Cults. Bethany House Publishers, 149-192. ISBN 0764228218. 

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  1. ^ (Eddy, 1934 [1906]: pp. 1-17.)
  2. ^ Eddy, 1934 [1906], pp. 1-17
  3. ^ Eddy, pp.443:1--444:30
  4. ^ Mother Church Web site cites both numbers
  5. ^ Rudimental Divine Science, 1936 [1891], p.1.
  6. ^ Science and Health, 1934 [1875], p.134.
  7. ^ Eddy, 1934, p. 444.
  8. ^ Proceedings in Equity, 1921, Christian Science Publishing Society, Boston
  9. ^ See Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 US 158 (1944) and Jehovah's Witnesses v. Washington King County Hospital, 278 F Supp 488 (Washington DC 1967), affirmed per curiam 390 US 598 (1968).

External links

Authorized by The First Church of Christ, Scientist and/or the Christian Science Board of Directors

The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... The Christian Science Board of Directors is a five-person executive entity created by Mary Baker Eddy to administer the constitution, the Church Manual. ...

Dissenting, secessionist or independent groups

LGBT (or GLBT) is an acronym used as a collective term to refer to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people. ...

Neutral

Criticism of Christian Science from atheist, fundamentalist Christian, and other perspectives

  • Religion and Medicine: The Christian Science Holocaust - by Gerald Bergman, Ph. D.
  • Christian Way: Former Christian Scientists for Jesus Christ
  • Watchman Fellowship Profile on Christian Science
  • Financial Crisis Rocks Christian Science (Article from the Christian Research Journal, Spring 1992.)
  • Why I Left Christian Science: The Personal Testimony of Carolyn Poole
  • Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry Article
  • Criticism by Frank R. Zindler (www.atheists.org)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Church of Christ, Scientist (0 words)
The Church of Christ, Scientist, is designed to make the healing and educational system known as Christian Science available and accessible to everyone.
Christian Science enables us to understand our relationship to a loving God and our relationship to each other.
The complete explanation of Christian Science is contained in the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
Christian Science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4438 words)
Christian Science is a teaching regarding the efficacy of spiritual healing according to the interpretation of the Bible by Mary Baker Eddy, in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (Eddy, 1934).
Christian Science shares with George Berkeley a belief in the unreality of matter, but it rejects matter not just as a superfluous term or concept--for Christian Science, what we call the material world is a kind of hallucinatory distortion of the underlying spiritual reality, a distortion that can be healed through prayer.
Christian Science was elaborated by a female thinker--Mary Baker Eddy--who rejected the "coldness" of traditional philosophy and emphasized the importance of love (in the sense of agape) as well as abstract thought, and indeed the desirability of the integration of the two.
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