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The Religious Science movement was founded in the United States by Ernest Holmes in 1927, and is formally known as Religious Science/Science of Mind.

Holmes was drawn to New Thought teachings, and to the belief that the mind held the power for healing and fulfillment of life, and had studied the New Thought teaching, Divine Science, becoming an ordained Divine Science minister, which he also drew upon in his teaching.

He published his major work, The Science of Mind in 1926, and organized the Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy the following year, as an avenue for teaching his philosophies and principles to a wider audience.

The indications are that Holmes intended RS/SOM to be a teaching institution rather than a church and, perhaps for that reason, many member churches are referred to as centers rather than as churches.

He also stated that the RS/SOM was not based on any authority of established beliefs, but for what it can accomplish for those who practice its principles.

However, after his students graduated, some of them established churches based on what they had learned, so in 1949 Holmes agreed to establish a religious denomination. Originally known as the Institute for Religious Science and School of Philosophy, the organization later became the Church of Religious Science, and the Religious Science/Science of Mind.

Today, the Centers for Spiritual Living, Global Religious Science Ministries, and Affiliated New Thought Network are the main religious bodies promoting Religious Science, after the International Centers for Spiritual Living and the United Centers for Spiritual Living merged to form the Centers for Spiritual Living in 2011.

Religious Science/Science of Mind serves as an umbrella organization.

Other associated organizations include Religious Science International, United Centers for Spiritual Living, Affiliated New Thought Alliance, and International New Thought Alliance.

Like other New Thought traditions, Religious Science is largely monistic. The individual human mind is considered to be an expression of the Universal Mind, with the universe as its material manifestation. Mankind and nature are considered to be essentially good, as God, who is their true being, is fundamentally good.

Evil stems solely from ignorance of the highest identity, or wrong thinking.

When aware of its identity with the infinite, the human mind, through faith, draws upon unlimited resources, in what is known as affirmative prayer. When directed to a specific end, such as healing of the mind or body, this power is known as spiritual mind treatment, and its results are a demonstration.

Religious Science trains ministers and practitioners to give spiritual mind treatments. Through spiritual mind treatments, people can achieve more fulfilling lives. It begins with a statement of the desired outcome as if it had already happened, continuing through a step-by-step process that includes recognition, unification, realization, thanksgiving, and release. Some practitioners also use meditation.

RS/SOM teaches that all beings are part of the infinite intelligence, also known as Spirit, Christ Consciousness, or God. Because God is all there is in the universe, not present merely in heaven or in assigned deities, the power of God is available to people who recognize and align themselves with its presence within them. Holmes taught that God was not a person, but a universal presence.

Religious Science services are similar to those of mainstream Protestant congregations, although they assume an affirmative, optimistic tone.

Topics related to Religious Science or any of its affiliated or associated centers or organizations are appropriate for this category, as are informational sites focused on Religious Science, whether complimentary or confrontational.

 

 

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