Profile: Christian Science
Founded: In 1879 in Boston by Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910)
Current Organization: Still headquartered in Boston, the mother church oversees some 3,000 churches and societies. The total membership is unknown since that is considered a confidential matter, however estimates range from one to three million. A five person board serves as the governing body for the church as a whole, although locally each church elects it's "readers" (the individuals who publically read from their sacred texts during services). They do not have ordained clergy in the traditional sense.
Description: One of the primary themes of Christian Science is divine healing, which Mary Baker Eddy considered a neglected part of the Christian message, with respect to other churches. The mode of healing, she taught, is by recognizing the unreality of sickness, death, and other misfortunes. Thus, Christian science developed more as a metaphysical philosophy, rather than a Bible-based Christian sect. Her most significant work Science and Health with a Key to the Scriptures is considered scriptural by the church, and serves as a metaphysical commentary on the Bible.
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