“Christian Science and Scientology: Ecclesiologies”
Westbrook, Donald. “Christian Science and Scientology: Ecclesiologies.” Acta Comparanda Subsidia II (2015): 61–66.
In this brief article, Westbrook makes some comparisons between Christian Science and Scientology. Whereas Christian Scientists strive to dissociate from Scientology, Scientologists see no need to establish incompatibility between its religious worldview and that of Christian Science. However, in one of few references L. Ron Hubbard has made to Christian Science, he does note some theological points in which Christian Science is diametrically opposed to Scientology. In Scientology, “the individual is a spiritual being (termed a thetan) who is capable of creating the physical universe” along with other thetans (63). The goal in Scientology is to spiritually advance in a manner that best controls the existence of matter, energy, space, and time. What Christian Science and Scientology have in common is their theological link between science and religion. Additionally, they refer to their main church body as their ‘Mother Church,’ forming a bonding relationship with their many branch churches. Westbrook claims that Mary Baker Eddy “seemed to thoroughly imbed and indeed routinize herself” into the organization’s ongoing affairs (65), even though Eddy’s Church Manual establishes an essentially democratic structure for each branch church. Westbrook also notes Hubbard’s detailed instructions regarding the minutiae of church life, yet both of the churches were considered “separately incorporated places of worship” (66).
Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Online - Academic Credentials or Fee
- Controversy: Theological Controversies
- Official Christian Science Publication: No
- Organizations: The First Church of Christ, Scientist
- People: Eddy, Mary Baker
- Publication Date: 2011-2020
- Resource Types: Article
- Subjects: Church Practices
- Subjects: Theology