The People's Idea of God

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First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1936 - Christian Science - 14 pages

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About the author (1936)

Mary Baker Eddy was the discoverer of Christian Science and the founder of one of the most influential of American new religious movements, the Church of Christ, Scientist. Experiencing prolonged ill health after the birth of her first child, Eddy visited a "mind-cure" teacher, Phineas P. Quimby of Portland, Maine, in 1862; she obtained some relief and began to study Quimby's teachings extensively. Although ultimately her doctrine differed from Quimby's on key points, particularly the understanding of Scripture, this association was an important milestone in her development. In 1866, while reading the Bible, she perceived that evil and sickness are nonexistent in God's eyes and subsequently experienced complete healing from an injury resulting from a fall. Soon she was healing others as well in accordance with her newly discovered principle. The first edition of Eddy's major book, Science and Health, was published in 1875, and she founded the Church three years later. It was reorganized in 1892, and in the 1890s Eddy worked on the Church Manual that governs the denomination's life. Although Eddy and Christian Science were influential on the broader New Thought and "positive thinking" movements, her belief in the unreality of evil and the tight organization of her church remain unique.

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