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The Scarlet & Black

Christian Science Organization (CSO)

This group meets on Thursdays at 11 a.m. with Professor Diane Robertson. Towards the beginning of her time at Grinnell, she and her husband rejuvenated the Christian Science program for a number of years before membership dwindled to nothing. Now, several students on campus have provided the impetus to restart the program.

“About five years ago now, we had two new students come in and they were quite interested in attending our organization,” Robertson said.

The meetings are largely discussion based, wherein students apply their knowledge of God and the Bible to issues in their lives, on campus, or around the world.

“I will often bring some articles from some of our periodicals that I think may have a topic that has some relevance to the students, and sometimes the other members might do that too,” Robertson said.

The organization has faced several controversial issues based upon their belief that God can heal everything and everyone. Many Christian scientists don’t believe in vaccinations or other medical intervention. However, abstaining from medical attention is a personal choice within the church—the true focus is on the relationship between the man’s spirituality and God’s spirituality.

“Our approach to religion is understanding that relationship better and better, and the more we’re able to do that, the more we can see through the problems of the material world and understand that, in reality, being spiritual, we can work our way through those,” Robertson said, “Then, we see healing in all kinds of ways.”

Christian Scientists read the Bible with the help of the book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy. She published the book in 1866 and became the founder/discoverer of Christian Science. To this day, worshippers point to her work as the key to unlocking the true meaning of the scriptures. There is a copy of the textbook in the library at the CRSSJ.

“We consider the Bible the Book of Illustration and “Science and Health” as the Book of Explanation,” Robertson said.

Church services are based upon readings by lay-people from both the Bible and “Science and Health.”

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