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Eddy accepted as true the creation narrative in the Book of Genesis up to chapter 2, verse 6—that God created man in his image and likeness—but rejected the rest "as the story of the false and the material," according to Wilson.The crucifixion was not a divine sacrifice for the sins of humanity, the atonement (the forgiveness of sin through Jesus's suffering) "not the bribing of God by offerings," writes Wilson, but an "at-one-ment" with God.Despite her view of the non-existence of evil, an important element of Christian Science theology is that evil thought, in the form of malicious animal magnetism, can cause harm, even if the harm is only apparent.

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on its own premises, but rather preventative of ill health, accident and misfortune, since it claims to lead to a state of consciousness where these things do not exist.

What heals is the realization that there is nothing really to heal." It is a closed system of thought, viewed as infallible if performed correctly; healing confirms the power of Truth, but its absence derives from the failure, specifically the bad thoughts, of individuals.

At the core of Eddy's theology is the view that the spiritual world is the only reality and is entirely good, and that the material world, with its evil, sickness and death, is an illusion.

Eddy saw humanity as an "idea of Mind" that is "perfect, eternal, unlimited, and reflects the divine," according to Bryan Wilson; what she called "mortal man" is simply humanity's distorted view of itself.

It was developed in 19th-century New England by Mary Baker Eddy, who argued in her 1875 book Science and Health that sickness is an illusion that can be corrected by prayer alone.

The book became Christian Science's central text, along with the Bible, and by 2001 had sold over nine million copies.

This provided fertile soil for the mind-cure groups, who argued that sickness was an absence of "right thinking" or failure to connect to Divine Mind.

Eddy's idea of malicious animal magnetism marked another distinction (that people can be harmed by the bad thoughts of others), introducing an element of fear that was absent from the New Thought literature.

Most significantly, she dismissed the material world as an illusion, rather than as merely subordinate to Mind, leading her to reject the use of medicine, or materia medica, and making Christian Science the most controversial of the metaphysical groups. According to the church's tenets, adherents accept "the inspired Word of the Bible as [their] sufficient guide to eternal Life ...

acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God ...

The church does not require that Christian Scientists avoid all medical care—adherents use dentists, optometrists, obstetricians, physicians for broken bones, and vaccination when required by law—but maintains that Christian-Science prayer is most effective when not combined with medicine.

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