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Ernest Holmes

Ernest Holmes
Born Ernest Shurtleff Holmes
(1887-01-21)January 21, 1887
Lincoln, Maine, United States
Died April 7, 1960(1960-04-07) (aged 73)
Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Occupation Minister, philosopher, author
Known for Founder of the Religious Science
Religion Religious Scientist
Spouse(s) Hazel Durkee Foster
Part of a series of articles on
New Thought

Ernest Shurtleff Holmes (January 21, 1887 – April 7, 1960) was an American New Thought writer, teacher, and leader. He was the founder of a Spiritual movement known as Religious Science, a part of the greater New Thought movement, whose spiritual philosophy is known as "The Science of Mind." He was the author of The Science of Mind and numerous other metaphysical books, and the founder of Science of Mind magazine, in continuous publication since 1927. His books remain in print, and the principles he taught as "Science of Mind" have inspired and influenced many generations of metaphysical students and teachers. Holmes had previously studied another New Thought teaching, Divine Science, and was an ordained Divine Science Minister.[1] His influence beyond New Thought can be seen in the self-help movement.


  • Biography 1
    • Religious Science/Science of Mind 1.1
  • Teachings 2
  • Recognition 3
  • Bibliography 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Biographies 7
  • External links 8


Holmes was born January 21, 1887, in Lincoln, Maine, to a poor family. He was the son of Anna Columbia (Heath) and William Nelson Holmes.[2] He left school and his family in Maine for Boston, Massachusetts at age 15. From 1908 to 1910 he worked in a store to pay for his tuition at the Leland Powers School of Expression in Boston. There he was introduced to Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health, as well as Christian Science.[3]

In 1912 Holmes joined his brother Fenwicke in Venice, California. In addition to taking up a job with the city government, Holmes and his brother, a Congregationalist minister, studied the writings of Thomas Troward, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Walker Atkinson, and Christian D. Larson.[4]

In 1927 he married Hazel Durkee Foster. She died in 1957. Holmes died on April 7, 1960.[5]

Religious Science/Science of Mind

After leading small private meetings throughout the city, in 1916 Ernest Holmes was invited to speak at the Metaphysical Library in Los Angeles. This led him to repeat engagements, and on a nationwide tour. In 1919 he published his first book, The Creative Mind, and after almost a decade of touring Holmes committed to remaining in the L.A. area to complete his major work, The Science of Mind. It was published in 1926.[6]

That year Holmes started speaking each Sunday morning in a theatre in the Church of Religious Science.[8][9]

Today his Science of Mind/Religious Science teachings are continued by the Hillary Hawkins and published in audiobook form.

Holmes Memorial Chapel at Founder's Church in Los Angeles, CA


In the 1920s, Holmes published the following statement of beliefs:[10]

Through his research, Holmes created a "structure of concepts" based on the religions and philosophies of human history, sometimes correlating his findings with the then-emerging "new" physics. He named the teaching a science because he believed that its principles were scientifically provable in practice. He wrote, "I would rather see a student of this Science prove its Principle than to have him repeat all the words of wisdom that have ever been uttered."[11]

Holmes ultimately came to believe in a "core concept" – what he saw as a "Golden thread of truth" that ran through all of the world's religions as well as in science and philosophy.[12]


Ernest Holmes received a variety of recognition for his work. In 1945, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Andhra University in India. The California College of Medicine, and the Foundation Academic University of Spiritual Understanding in Venice, Italy, awarded him a Doctor of Letters. In 1942, he was bestowed with the Cross of the Commander of the Grand Humanitarian Prize of Belgium, and in 1944 he was named honorary member of the Eugene Field Society.


  • Holmes, Ernest (1919). Creative mind; a series of talks on mental and spiritual law delivered at the Metaphysical Institute, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., in the year nineteen hundred eighteen. New York: R.M. McBride & Co. 
  • Holmes, E. (1922) Creative Mind and Success.
  • Holmes, Ernest (1922). The science of mind; a complete course of lessons in the science of mind and spirit. New York: R.M. McBride & Co. 
  • Holmes, E. (2007) This Thing Called You. Los Angeles: Tarcher.
  • Holmes, E. (1991) Living the Science of Mind. Camarillo, CA: DeVorss & Company.
  • Holmes, E. (2006) The Hidden Power of the Bible. Los Angeles: Tarcher. (Originally published in 1926 as The Bible in Light of Science of Mind.
  • Holmes, E. (2007) 365 Science of Mind: A Year of Daily Wisdom from Ernest Holmes. Los Angeles: Tarcher.
  • Holmes, E. (1999) How to Change Your Life: An Inspirational, Life-Changing Classic from the Ernest Holmes Library. Deerfield Beach, FL: HCI.
  • Holmes, E. (2007) Prayer: How to Pray Effectively. Los Angeles: Tarcher.
  • Holmes, E. (2004) Love and Law. Los Angeles: Tarcher.

See also


  1. ^ Glenn R. Mosley (2006) Templeton Foundation Press, New Thought, Ancient Wisdom p.47
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ (1971) The Library Journal Book Review. R.R. Bowker Company. p 132.
  4. ^ Gale Group, (1999) "Ernest Shurtleff Holmes" Religious Leaders of America, 2nd ed., Farmington Hills, Mich., accessed September 2008.
  5. ^ Melton, G.M. (1999) Religious leaders of America: A biographical guide to founders and leaders of religious bodies, churches, and spiritual groups in North America. Gale Research.
  6. ^ Worstell, R.C. (2007) Secrets to the Law of Attraction. Lulu. p. 140.
  7. ^ "Biography of Ernest Holmes". Retrieved May 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "20th Century Renaissance Heroes: Ernest Holmes", Truth Book. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
  9. ^ Goldberg, P. (2010) American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation How Indian Spirituality Changed the West. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 98.
  10. ^ "What I Believe", Ernest Holmes
  11. ^ Holmes, Ernest (1938). Science of Mind: A Philosophy, A Faith, a Way of Life. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam. p. 423.  
  12. ^ Hunt, Dennis (2007). Are We There Yet?: A Guide to Life, Living and Death. Troubador Publishing Ltd. pp. 22, 42.  


  • Armor, R.C., Llast, R., and Vergara, A. (2000) That was Ernest: The story of Ernest Holmes and the Religious Science movement. DeVorss Publications.
  • Holmes, F.L. (1970) Ernest Holmes: His life and times. Dodd and Mead Publishers.

External links

  • Ernest Holmes
  • Creative Mind, by Ernest Holmes
  • Science of Mind, by Ernest Holmes
  • Works by or about Ernest Holmes at Internet Archive
  • Works by Ernest Holmes at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
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