Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, defined Christian Science as “the law of God, the law of good . . . ” (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 1). She’d learned that God is infinite Love, and completely good. A clear glimpse of this understanding, through prayer, has power to heal and transform anyone.
Mary Baker Eddy was a lifelong student of the Bible, and she’d always wanted to find solutions to human suffering. When she was critically injured in 1866, she turned to God with her whole heart. While reading accounts of Jesus’ swift, powerful healings, she experienced a new sense of God. She saw that God, Spirit, is the only reality, and she was completely healed. She wanted to understand what had happened, so she studied the Bible, where she found universal and dependable laws of God. These laws are the foundation of Christian Science.
Since then many people have been healed and redeemed as they learn about their relationship to God through this reliable Science of Christianity.
Read Mary Baker Eddy’s primary work, the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
Aren't the words “Christian” and “Science” contradictory?
We do not take the principles of our religion on pure faith, but rather through an understanding of the spiritual laws as revealed by Christ Jesus as well as by the apostles and the Old Testament prophets. We subject the recorded teachings of Jesus to experimentation and practice, just as a conventional scientist begins with natural law and tests hypotheses based on that law, applying them to specific situations. Thanks to the insights of Mary Baker Eddy, we can apply the teachings of the Christ to daily life and prove their validity. Our faith is not based on blind belief, but rather on the practical effects of divine Love and Truth in our lives, restoring bodies to health and hearts to joy.
How does Christian Science heal?
There is no formula for healing, no set of magic words that cure, no laying on of hands. Healing in Christian Science comes from the unfoldment of our understanding of the nature of God as entirely, supremely good, and of our true nature as God’s expression. As we study the principles presented in the Bible and their spiritual interpretation as revealed by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health, they find expression in our lives, uplifting and inspiring thought and leading us toward freedom from the limiting belief of a material body.
When facing a health issue or other challenge, we pray for ourselves, and we may also hire a Christian Science practitioner, whose dedicated study has led to a professional role of healing others.
What is Christian Science prayer?
Prayer is listening. By studying the Bible and Science and Health, we learn the letter of Christian Science, while praying helps us to absorb its spirit. When we pray, we do not ask God to grant our wishes or change the world or heal our ills. God has already created a perfect world, but we are unable to perceive its perfection if we are mesmerized by delusions of sin, sickness, and death. Our prayer is a listening for the insights and inspiration that will uplift us, helping us perceive the good that God has already manifested and our true relationship of oneness with divine perfection. Mrs. Eddy writes, “Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it.” – from Science and Health
Who was Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science?
Mary Baker Eddy grew up in New Hampshire in the early 1800s, the daughter of devout Congregationalists. However, she did not subscribe to her father’s belief in divine punishment. The love of God instilled by her mother kept Mary searching for a deeper understanding of the Bible’s teachings, even as she suffered from a series of health challenges and disappointments in marriage and motherhood. Her first husband died young, the second proved unfaithful, leading to divorce, and her only child was taken from her because she was too ill to care for him.
In 1866, when she suffered internal injuries from a fall on the ice, Mary expected to die. Confined to her bed and unable to walk, she called for her Bible and read the passage from Matthew 9, in which Jesus healed a man whose disability prevented him from walking. Just as the man instantaneously rose from his bed, Mary was able to dress herself and walk out to greet her astonished friends, who had gathered to say farewell. She had always been able to heal others through prayer, and the new illumination of her understanding heightened this healing ability.
Determined to figure out the mechanism underlying the healing process, she spent two years in deep study of the Bible, writing notes to articulate her understandings. Relying on a process she described as based on reason and revelation, she discovered the divine Principle and Truth underlying the system of healing she named Christian Science. First published in 1875, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures underwent many further revisions as she sought the precise words to communicate her discovery.
Mary Baker Eddy went on to found the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, referred to as the Mother Church, in 1879. Branch churches sprang up around the country and the world. She trained dedicated Christian Scientists to become practitioners of healing, and she founded the Christian Science Journal and Christian Science Sentinel, which are, respectively, published monthly and weekly. She also founded a well-respected national newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor. Accredited Christian Science practitioners are listed in the Journal, and both the Journal and Sentinel contain articles on themes related to Christian Science as well as testimonies of healing.