Science without religion is lame; Religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein, 1941
Few people today realize how much Albert Einstein studied Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, supported its conclusions, and admired its author, Mary Baker Eddy.
Dr. Einstein was known to visit Christian Science churches and Reading Rooms in the New York and New Jersey areas. There have been numerous anecdotes and quotes preserved over the years from individuals who have had knowledge of, or contact with Dr. Einstein, in connection with Christian Science.
"R.S. of WA, was told years ago by the librarian of the New York Reading Room which Dr. Einstein frequented, that upon his leaving the Reading Room one day he commented, 'You people don't know what you have in that book (meaning Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy).'"
"In an affidavit by Mary Spaulding, wife of the famous violinist Alfred Spaulding, was preserved a conversation she had with Albert Einstein in the New York City Reading Room on 42nd Street. Dr. Einstein's high regard for Science and Health is reflected in the following: 'Science and Health is beyond this generation's understanding. It is the pure science. And, to think that a woman knew this over eighty years ago!'"
"A [librarian] in the [Reading Room] in Princeton, New Jersey told me that Dr. [Albert] Einstein was one of the most frequent visitors to the Reading Room. He would come in and spend an hour or two just reading Science and Health. One day as he was leaving the Reading Room, he stopped at the librarian's desk, and said: 'If everyone realized what is in that book (meaning Science and Health), you would not have enough room anywhere to accommodate the people who would be clamoring for it.'" - Reminiscences of Elizabeth Earl Jones, from The Healer: The Healing Work of Mary Baker Eddy, p.189.
Another anecdote told to David Keyston (the President of Healing Unlimited, and the moderator of this website) by Helen M. Wright (with whom he worked with for 8-1/2 years), was the following: Dr. Einstein was at one time in leaving a Christian Science church service (where apparently he attended more than once), one of the ushers asked him, "Dr. Einstein, I have seen you here several times. Why don't you join our church?"  His response was wordless, simply patting his breast pocket where the stem of his pipe protruded slightly, whereupon he turned and walked out with a mischievous smile (in Christian Science churches one has historically not been admitted to membership if they drink alcohol or if they smoke, leaving that demonstration to the individual during their time of attendance, but prior to actually joining the membership of the church—Dr. Einstein knew this and was satisfied to enjoy the discovery of what Mrs. Eddy left us in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, but without ever joining a church). Recently (10/2012), another friend confirmed this fact when she emailed us, telling us she had visited Fifth Church in New York, and speaking with one of the members there, had been told that Albert Einstein often sat in the back of the church during services.

Mary Baker Eddy, as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, encountered much opposition from mainstream theology when she rejected the idea of a "personal God" - personal referring to the notion of an anthropomorphic figure somewhere in the heavens watching over/judging the universe, and that one needed to grow beyond that idea. In 1885 in a talk at Tremont Temple in Boston, speaking to the prominent theolgians of the day, she was asked,

  • Do I believe in a personal God? I know not what the person of omnipotence and omnipresence is, or what the infinite includes; therefore, I worship that of which I can conceive, first, as a loving Father and Mother; then, as thought ascends the scale of being to diviner consciousness, God becomes to me, as to the apostle who declared it, "God is Love," —divine Principle,— which I worship; and "after the manner of my fathers, so worship I God."
Albert Einstein wrote,
  • I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation.
Mary Baker Eddy and Albert Einstein are both known for forwarding concepts of the physical universe quite different from those generally accepted by the scientists of their day. 

Mary Baker Eddy:

  • There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.
  • Metaphysics is above physics, and matter does not enter into metaphysical premises or conclusions.
Albert Einstein:
  • Science / Physics is inclined to be misled because both of its truths are deceptive.
  • Metaphysics is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance.
Albert Einstein would later discover the non-material nature of the universe of what appeared to be matter, as his equation revealed the relationship between mass and energy. Mary Baker Eddy has much to say about energy, force, etc, and her use of the word 'Principle' above includes the ideas of law, force, energy — the non-material, spiritual dimension of the universe. Mary Baker Eddy refers to "the divine energy of Spirit." While Albert Einstein never became a Christian Scientist, he often spoke with people about Mary Baker Eddy's writings. Becky glimpsed insights from both. 

Albert Einstein:

  • of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires.
From a poem by Mary Baker Eddy:
  • Soul, sublime 'mid human debris, 
    Paints the limner's work, I ween, 
    Art and Science, all unweary, 
    Lighting up this mortal dream.
Becky wrote in her notebook this quote from "Einstein as I Knew Him," by Alan Windsor Richards:
  • Thus it is that Einstein's work still challenges us to answer this question: 'Is the world really the way it seems to us?'

Some other Albert Einstein quotes on religion, art, and science:
  • My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.
  • True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness.
  • The most important function of art and science is to awaken the cosmic religious feeling and keep it alive.
  • I maintain that cosmic religiousness is the strongest and most noble driving force of scientific research.
  • Man tries to make for himself in the fashion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world; he then tries to some extent to substitute this cosmos of his for the world of experience, and thus to overcome it. This is what the painter, the poet, the speculative philosopher, and the natural scientists do, each in his own fashion. Each makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way peace and security which he can not find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience.
  • The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It doe s not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books---a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.
  • A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
  • Scientists were rated as great heretics by the church, but they were truly religious men because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe.
  • Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes, where we face it as free beings admiring, asking and observing, there we enter the realm of Art and Science
  • I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
  • The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
  • What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.
  • It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
  • Space and time are forms of intuition, which can no more be divorced from consciousness than can our concepts of color, shape or size.
  • The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
  • True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.


— compiled by Richard Jones