Unity School of Christianity/ Association of Unity Churches
   Unity, the most outwardly Christian of the several New Thought groups, began in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1889, when its cofounders, Myrtle (1845-1931) and Charles Fillmore (1854-1948), created an organization to embody what they called "practical Christianity." Several years earlier, Myrtle had been healed from tuberculosis after attending a lecture on mental healing in 1886. The couple had accepted ordination in 1891 from Emma Curtis Hopkins, head of the Christian Science Theological Seminary in Chicago.
   The Fillmores launched their new movement with a periodical, Modern Thought (later Unity), and a prayer ministry, the Society for Silent Help (later Silent Unity), whose round-the-clock prayer ministry has been well known far beyond New Thought circles. in 1903, they incorporated the Unity Society of Practical Christianity (later the Unity School of Christianity). Its extensive output of periodicals, books, and pamphlets attracted metaphysical teachers, and congregations began to emerge. The various centers and congregations were organized in 1966 into the Association of Unity Churches (AUC), which cooperates with the Unity School. The association ordains and supervises ministers, sanctions churches, and coordinates the movement's expansion. As of 2001, there were nearly 1,000 ministries and 57 affiliated study groups in 64 countries. Unity has a strong presence in Africa, with some 50 groups in Nigeria. Unity School remains the heart of the movement from facilities near Kansas City, Missouri. its daily devotional guide, The Daily Word, has 1.3 million subscribers.
   Unity uses the Bible as a primary text, with a Christian Science-like allegorical interpretation. Charles Fillmore authored a New Thought classic, the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary (1931). His writings and H. Emilie Cady's Lessons In Truth (1894) set the basic perspective for the movement.
   Unity affirms that the basis of reality is mental (not material) and that mental states determine material conditions. Characteristic of New Thought as a whole, Unity affirms God as Mind. Though formerly describing itself as nondoctri-nal, a number of foundational teachings consistently reappear in its literature: (1) the absolute goodness of God and the unreality of evil; (2) the innate divinity of humanity; (3) the omnipotently causative nature of consciousness; and (4) the freedom of individuals in matters of belief. Unity's recasting of Christian doctrine as an idealistic philosophy has made it unacceptable to most Protestants, though it has had some influence on popular American Christianity, especially in the positive thinking espoused by Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) and Robert Schuller (b. 1926), both ministers and former presidents of the Reformed Church in America.
   Unity School is headed by a self-perpetuating board of directors and its current president, Connie Fillmore Bazzy, the founders' great-granddaughter.
   Further reading:
   ■ Marcus Bach, The Unity Way (Unity Village, Mo.: Unity Books, 1982)
   ■ Charles Braden, Spirits in Rebellion: The Rise and Development of New Thought (Dallas, Tex.: SMU Press, 1963)
   ■ H. Emilie Cady, Lessons in Truth (Unity Village, Mo.: Unity Books, 1975)
   ■ James Dillet Freeman, The Story of Unity (Unity Village, Mo.: Unity Books, 1978)
   ■ Neal Vahle, The Unity Movement: Its Evolution and Spiritual Teachings (Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press, 2002).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Mormon doctrine redirects here. For the book by Bruce R. McConkie, see Mormon Doctrine (book). For more details on the study of Latter day Saint beliefs and practices as an academic field, see Mormon studies. Joseph Smith, Jr. said that he saw… …   Wikipedia

  • Unity School of Christianity — Unity und nicht zu verwechseln mit den Unitariern ist die größte Denomination der Neugeist Bewegung. Die Kirche wurde von Charles Fillmore (1854 1948) und Myrtle Fillmore (1845 1931) im Jahre 1889 in Kansas City (Missouri) gegründet. Der Sitz der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • History of Christianity — Church history redirects here. For the journal, see American Society of Church History#Church History. For the magazine, see Christianity Today#Christian History. Church historian redirects here. For LDS official church historian, see Church… …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of Christianity — This article is about the timeline of Christianity beginning with Jesus. For the timeline, see Biblical chronology. For the history of Christianity, see History of Christianity. For the timeline of the Roman Catholic Church, see Timeline of the… …   Wikipedia

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Classification Latter Day Saint movement Theology Nontrinitarian, Mormonism Governance …   Wikipedia

  • Black people and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — This article is about Blacks and the modern LDS church. For Blacks and the early Mormon movement, see Black people and the Latter Day Saint movement. From 1849 to 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (LDS Church) had a policy… …   Wikipedia

  • Christianity — /kris chee an i tee/, n., pl. Christianities. 1. the Christian religion, including the Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox churches. 2. Christian beliefs or practices; Christian quality or character: Christianity mixed with pagan elements; …   Universalium

  • CHRISTIANITY — CHRISTIANITY, a general term denoting the historic community deriving from the original followers of Jesus of Nazareth; the institutions, social and cultural patterns, and the beliefs and doctrines evolved by this community; and – in the   widest …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Unity Church — Unity also known as Unity School of Christianity and informally as Unity Church , is a school of thought founded upon holistic Christian principles within the New Thought movement. It is informed by a wide range of spiritual, metaphysical and… …   Wikipedia

  • Churches of Christ — This article is about a specific fellowship of Christian congregations with roots in the Restoration Movement. For Churches of Christ that do not agree with congregational support of church or para church organizations, see the churches of Christ …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”