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Christian Science

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Spiritualism. The religious imagination of Americans had never been contained fully by inherited or orthodox religious organizations and dogmas. Throughout the nineteenth century many popular religious movements crystallized around new leaders and ideas. Spiritualism, for example, appealed powerfully throughout the nineteenth century to many Americans, even though it was widely condemned by established Christian denominations. Spiritualism maintained that the spirit was the prime element of reality and that spirits of the dead could communicate with the living, usually through a medium. It cut across denominational and religious lines, in part because it offered relief for many people yearning for contact with dead relations, often either children or other relatives killed in the Civil War.

Eddy. Interest in Spiritualism was often particularly strong among women. One of the most famous female religious thinkers was Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. Eddy, a native of New Hampshire, experienced the intense sense of loss felt by many New Englanders as Calvinism declined as the central force that gave the regions dominant culture its meaning and direction. Throughout her early life, like many middle-class Victorian women, Eddy suffered chronic, debilitating, and unexplained ailments and turned to religion for comfort. In 1862 she experienced a dramatic mind cure at the hands of an itinerant healer and mesmerist. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby strongly influenced Eddy, suggesting that all disease and suffering originated in mental phenomena and could be resolved without medicine. He also used a vocabulary that included the phrases Christian science and science of health. Soon after Quimby died in 1866, Eddy underwent a powerful spiritual experience. After a wrenching fall on ice, Eddy cured her injured back by mobilizing her spirit and the mind. Over the next several years she worked to reinterpret Quimbys teachings in terms of Christian language and correlated them with biblical teachings. She developed a distinctive religious argument, which she believed was both an act of human discovery and a divine revelation. She taught that God constituted all reality, and that all reality was ultimately spiritual. Human regeneration came from recognizing that the empirical evidence of the material world was an illusion and by subsequently allowing God through Christ to transform ones being. This recognition of the illusory character of the material world also led to physical health without resorting to doctors or conventional medicine. Eddy held her first public religious service in her home in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1875. She published the first edition of Science and Health the same year (later she would add the subtitle With a Key to the Scriptures). Eddy incorporated the Christian Scientists Association in 1876 and the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879. Over the next several decades, Eddy led the church from a small band into a sophisticated international organization that claimed one hundred thousand members at the time of her death in 1910.

Sources

Stephen Gottschalk, The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973);

Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery (New York: Holt, Rinehart 6c Winston, 1996);

Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Trial (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1971).

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Christian Science

Christian Science, religion founded upon principles of divine healing and laws expressed in the acts and sayings of Jesus, as discovered and set forth by Mary Baker Eddy and practiced by the Church of Christ, Scientist. The church teaches that God is good and the only reality, and that sin, evil, and illness are overcome on the basis of this understanding. Adherents rely on spiritual, rather than medical or material, means for healing. The occasion of Mary Baker Eddy's discovery of divine healing was her immediate recovery of life and health when in 1866 she read an account of healing by Jesus in the New Testament. In 1875 her Science and Health (later published as Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures) was published. In 1879 she established the Church of Christ, Scientist. In Boston in 1892 was organized the First Church of Christ, Scientist—the Mother Church, of which Christian Science churches throughout the world are branches. Each individual church is self-governing and self-supporting, but all accept the tenets framed by the founder and incorporated in the Church Manual. Upon Eddy's death in 1910, the administrative power was assumed, as laid down in the Manual, by the Christian Science Board of Directors. An extremely active organization, the board enabled Christian Science to grow steadily in numbers and scope of activity during the first third of the 20th cent. Of the numerous publications the church issues, the most important include the Christian Science Monitor, a daily newspaper; the Christian Science Quarterly; the Christian Science Sentinel; and the Christian Science Journal. These are published by the Christian Science Publishing Society. Other activities are conducted by a board of education and a board of lectureship. The churches have no individual pastors. Services are conducted by two readers, one reading from the Scriptures, the other from Science and Health. All churches use the same lessons at the same time. The teachings are drawn from the life and words of Jesus. Although most Christian Scientists are in the United States, the religion is found in 70 countries with large Protestant populations. A great percentage of its adherents are women.

See R. Peel, Christian Science (1958); S. Gottschalk, The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life (1973); C. Fraser, God's Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church (1999).

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Christian Science

Christian Science. The Church of Christ (Scientist) was founded by Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910). She had been a semi-invalid who, in 1862, began to learn from Phineas Quimby the possibility of cures without medicine. In 1866 (the year in which Quimby died), she claimed a cure from a severe injury (after a fall on ice) without the intervention of medicine. She devoted herself to the recovery of the healing emphasis in early Christianity, and in 1875 she completed the 1st edn. of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In 1879, the Church of Christ (Scientist) was incorporated with the purpose of ‘commemorating the word and works of our Master’. She became chief pastor of the Mother Church, and wrote The Manual of the Mother Church to govern its affairs.

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Christian Science

Christian Science (officially Church of Christ Scientist) Religious sect founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy, and based on her book Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures. Its followers believe that physical illness and moral problems can only be cured by spiritual and mental activity. They refuse medical treatment. Divine Mind is used as a synonym for God. Each human being is regarded as a complete and flawless manifestation of God.

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Christian Science

Chris·tian Sci·ence • n. the beliefs and practices of the Church of Christ Scientist, a Christian sect founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879. Members hold that only God and the mind have ultimate reality, and that sin and illness are illusions that can be overcome by prayer and faith. DERIVATIVES: Chris·tian Sci·en·tist n.

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Christian Science

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE. SeeChurch of Christ, Scientist .

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Christian Science

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE is a religious movement emphasizing Christian healing as proof of the supremacy of spiritual over physical power. Founded by Mary Baker Eddy, a New Englander of predominantly Calvinistic background, Christian Science emerged as a distinct phenomenon in American religious life during a period of both social and religious crisis. The dramatic conflict between science and faith, as witnessed in battles over Darwinism and critical biblical scholarship, was only the most obvious aspect of a developing breakdown in a Christian cosmology that pictured experience as split between a natural and a supernatural order. Christian Science, however, rejected traditional cosmology and was therefore free to address religious issues in a way that was limited neither by creedal formulas nor by assumptions based on nineteenth-century natural science.

Eddy from her earliest years showed a deep-seated longing for the divine that was broadly characteristic of the Christian tradition and especially prominent in Puritanism. She found it impossible, however, to reconcile her deepest religious feelings with the theology of a then decadent Calvinism. Yet while other revolts against Calvinism, such as those of Unitarianism and Transcendentalism, led to an attenuation or even an abandonment of Christian convictions, Eddy's Christianity was so deeply ingrained that she found it impossible to think of any ultimate answer to what she called the "problem of being" outside of a theistic, biblical context. In her own words, "From my very childhood, I was impelled, by a hunger and thirst after divine thingsa desire for something higher and better than matter, and apart from itto seek diligently for the knowledge of God as the one great and ever-present relief from human woe."

Running parallel to this search, and contributing heuristically to it, was Eddy's own long quest for health. She had exhausted the healing methods of the time, including homeopathy, and the techniques of the Maine healer Phineas Quimby, to whom she turned in 1862, and although she found useful hints concerning the mental causes of disease, she never found the permanent health for which she was looking. Her growing disenchantment with all curative methods returned her to her spiritual quest, which led to a radically different perception of God and creation from that held by Quimby, namely, that reality is, in truth, wholly spiritual.

Eddy identified the advent of this conviction with her "instantaneous" recovery in 1866 from the effects of a severe accident while reading an account of one of Jesus' healings. She described the event as follows: "That short experience included a glimpse of the great fact that I have since tried to make plain to others, namely, Life in and of Spirit; this Life being the sole reality of existence." This passage is reminiscent of much mystical writing, but Eddy saw the experience as the point at which she discovered a spiritual truth so concrete that it would be "scientifically" provable in the experience of others.

There can be no doubt that this moment of recovery marked an important turning point in Eddy's life, impelling the development of the theology and metaphysics to which she gave expression in her major book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, first published in 1875. The primary purpose of the book was not to set forth a new systematic theology, but rather to serve as a textbook for religious practice. The focus throughout was on awakening the capacity of its readers to experience the presence of God directly; the "honest seekers for Truth," to whom the book was dedicated, were invited to explore the saving and physically healing effects of that experience.

A key point of Christian Science is that the understanding of God must include a changed view of reality itself. In effect, Science and Health challenged the traditional Christian view of God as the creator of a material worldnot on philosophic grounds, even though Eddy's conclusions are partially articulated in philosophic termsbut on the grounds of a radical reinterpretation of the meaning of the gospel. Christian Science takes the works of Jesus, culminating in his resurrection and final ascension above all things material, as pointing to the essential spiritual nature of being. Accordingly, his life exemplifies the possibility of action outside of and contrary to the limits of a finite, material sense of existence. From the standpoint of traditional Christianity, Jesus' works constituted supernatural interruptions of natural process and law; from the standpoint of Christian Science, they resulted from the operation of divine power comprehended as spiritual law. In biblical terms this meant the breaking through of the kingdom of heavenof the divine order of thingsinto ordinary sense-bound experience.

Nineteenth-century Protestant orthodoxy associated the kingdom of heaven with a realm in the beyond and the hereafter; Christian Science, however, views it as the spiritual potential of present experience to be actualized once sinning mortals cease to identify their own limited, erring perceptions as reality. Regeneration or spiritual awakening occurs as one sees through sense appearance to what Eddy called "the spiritual fact of whatever the material senses behold." The spiritual fact for her was not an otherworldly phenomenon, but a transforming powera reality drastically obscured by the misconceived sense of life, substance, and intelligence, apart from God. So great is this error of misconceiving, or fundamental sin, that a revelatory breakthrough from outside material existence is required in order to manifest the true spiritual nature of creation. The advent of Jesus, according to Christian Science, constitutes the decisive spiritual event that makes possible the salvation of humanity from the flesh.

Christian Science does not deify Jesus, a point that its severest critics have sometimes said separates it conclusively from traditional Christianity. Yet Jesus' actual role in the achievement of humanity's salvation is as important to its theology as for traditional Christianity. His life of obedience and sacrifice is understood as the means through which the reality of being for humankind has broken through in the midst of ordinary human experience. This true spiritual selfhood is identified as the eternal Christ, as distinct from Jesus, although uniquely and fully incarnated in him. His mission is viewed as opening up the possibility for all men and women to make actual their own spiritual union with God. He did this by proving practically that neither sin nor suffering is part of authentic spiritual selfhood, or Christ.

While Christian Science holds that evil has no God-derived existence and therefore can be regarded ontologically as not real, it strongly emphasizes the need for healing rather than ignoring the manifold manifestations of the carnal mind, defined by the apostle Paul as "enmity against God," and as operating with hypnotic intensity in human experience. Such healing is to be accomplished not through personal will or effort but through yielding to the action of the divine Mind. Salvation, while seen as the effect of divine grace, requires prayer, self-renunciation, and radical, unremitting warfare against the evils of the mortal condition.

Salvation includes obedience to Jesus' command to heal the sick. Sickness is one expression of the fundamental error of the mortal mind that accepts existence as something separate from God. Healing, therefore, must be predicated on the action of the divine Mind or power outside of human thought. In Eddy's words, " erring, finite, human mind has an absolute need of something beyond itself for its redemption and healing." Healing is regarded not merely as a bodily change, but as a phase of full salvation from the flesh as well. It is the normalization of bodily function and formation through the divine government of the human mentality and of the bodily system that that mentality governs.

The emphasis in Christian Science upon healingprimarily of sin, secondarily diseaseis based on the concrete issues of everyday lived experience. The healing emphasis differentiates Christian Science from philosophies of idealism with which it is often carelessly identified, including the Emersonian transcendentalism that was part of its immediate cultural background. Indeed, departures from Eddy's teaching within the Christian Science movement itself have tended generally toward metaphysical abstraction, wherein her statements almost completely lose their bearings on daily experience.

In the context of Eddy's writings, however, such statements almost always point to the demand and possibility of demonstrating in actual experience what she understood as spiritual fact. Her abstract statement that "God is All," for instance, taken by itself could imply a pantheistic identification of humankind and the universe with God. Taken in the full context of her teachings, it indicates that God's infinitude and omnipotence rule out the legitimacy, permanence, and substantiality of anything contrary to God's nature as Principle, Mind, Spirit, Soul, Life, Truth, and Love, an assertion that is taken to be demonstrably practical in concrete situations, to some degree at least.

The radical claim as to the ultimate unreality of matter is to be assessed in these terms. Christian Science asserts that matter is not the objective substance it appears to be, but is rather a concept of substance shaped by the limitations of the human mind. This assertion no more denies the existence of humankind or natural objects than the challenge posed in physics to conventional views of perception and to the substantiality of matter denies the existence of the universe. But it does point to the necessity of bringing the true spiritual nature of humanity and the universe to light through progressive demonstration.

With this emphasis on practical regeneration and healing, one sees the clearest link between Christian Science and the American Puritan tradition. An undue emphasis on the practical aspect of Christian Science by some followers has sometimes led to a secularization of its teaching, with healing regarded as an end in itself rather than as one element of a full salvation. This tendency clearly characterizes the mind-cure and New Thought movements. These movements, in some respects akin to Christian Science, use similar terms, which, however, bear a notably different meaning.

As with any religious movement, the motives of those who call themselves Christian Scientists vary. Of the 350,000450,000 who might so identify themselves, it is likely that a majority are not formal members of the Christian Science denomination. While many have made Christian Science a way of life and joined, others have sought it, sometimes intermittently, for comfort and support. There may be limited truth, too, to the hypothesis that activity in the Christian Science movement, in which women have been numerically predominant, has provided an outlet for women in a society that has otherwise restricted their roleparticularly in the religious world. On the other hand, such an argument may reflect an unconscious male stereotyping that seeks reductionist explanations when women advance or espouse ideas.

Evidence of the religious experiences of long-term, committed adherents of Christian Science suggests that it may have survived for more than a century because it has met a more basic religious need. Disaffected Protestants, particularly, have seen in it a release not just from bodily suffering but also from spiritual malaisean alternative to the attitude that accepts with Christian resignation the tragedies of present life in hope of compensation either in a life beyond or according to some transcendent scale of eternal values. Christian Science, however, regards the ultimate spiritual victory over evil prophesied in the Bible as requiring confronta-tion with all aspects of evil and imperfection in present experience.

Although Christian Science is explicitly committed to universal salvation, it focuses initially and primarily on the potential for transformation and healing within the individual. This focus, deviant as it has often seemed to conservative Christians, tends to associate it with the traditional Protestant concern over individual salvation, giving it a conservative cast in the eyes of more liberal Christians who wish to transform the social order. The identification of Christian Science with a conservative, well-to-do, middle-class ideology may be as misleading in a sociological sense as it is theologically. In fact, a greater segment of the movement comes from rural or lower-middle-class backgrounds than most outside accounts would suggest.

On the whole, the church does not share the social activism of many mainstream denominations, but its purpose in publishing the Christian Science Monitor an international newspaper of recognized excellenceindicates a substantial commitment to an interest in the public good. Eddy founded the Monitor in 1908 as the most appropriate vehicle for the political and social expression of the practical idealism of her teaching. In addition, it was intended to educate Christian Scientists about the need for the healing of society at large, not just the individual.

The character of the Monitor, to a degree, reflects the educational purpose of the church that publishes it. Eddy, surprisingly sensitive to the dangers of institutionalized religion, conceived of the church in instrumental rather than ecclesiastical terms, shaping it to provide practical means for the study, communication, and teaching of Christian Science as a way of life. It was not part of her original purpose to found a separate denomination; rather, she and a group of her students founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, in 1879, when it became clear that other Christian churches were not disposed to accept her teaching. The overall structure of the church was laid out in a document of skeletal simplicity, the Manual of the Mother Church, which Eddy first published in 1895 and continued to develop until her death.

The central administrative functions of this "mother" church, the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, are presided over by a five-member, self-perpetuating board of directors. The Mother Church, with its branches, including some 3,000 congregations in fifty countries, constitute the Church of Christ, Scientist; the congregations are self-governing within the framework provided by the Manual.

Taken as a whole, the church's activities can best be understood as vehicles for disciplined spiritual education. These include the Bible "lesson-sermons" consisting of passages from the Bible and the Christian Science textbook studied by members during the week; the religious periodicals published by the church; and Christian Science lectures, Sunday schools, the intensive two-week course of class instruction, and follow-up refresher meetings attended by those seriously committed to the religion.

The absence of an ordained clergy, ritualistically observed sacraments, and all but the most spare symbols point to the almost Quaker-like simplicity of the Christian Science concept of worship, in which silent prayer has an important role and the sacraments are conceived of as a process of continuing purification and quiet communion with God. Spontaneous sharing of experiences of healing and spiritual guidance marks the Wednesday "testimony meetings."

Christian Science practitioners, listed monthly in the Christian Science Journal, are members who devote themselves full time to the ministry of spiritual healing, and a significant body of testimonies of healingamounting to some 50,000 published accountshas been amassed in Christian Science periodicals over the years. There is good evidence that this sustained commitment of an entire denomination over more than a century to the practice of spiritual healing has been a significant factor in the reawakening of interest in Christian healing among many denominations in the 1960s and 1970s.

By the 1979 centennial of the founding of the church, the Christian Science movement found itself experiencing greater challenges from the currents of secular materialism than it had encountered since the early days of its founding. The increasing secularization of Western society worked against the kind of radical Christian commitment it required, while at the same time its healing practices encountered new challenges in an increasingly medically oriented society.

The history of the church, however, confirms that it is no exception to the general tendency of religious movements to grow or decline according to inner vitality rather than external pressure. Nor are external signs of growth in themselves altogether valid indicators of spiritual strength; indeed, it was because of this that Eddy forbade the publication of church membership statistics at a time when the movement was growing rapidly. The great numerical growth of the movement in the decades after Eddy's death may well have been attributable more to sociocultural factors unrelated to and, in some respects, opposed to the specific religious and redemptive purposes of the church itself.

It is too soon to assess the long-term significance of some signs of decline of the Christian Science movement. Indeed, these signs must be qualified by other factors, among them the erosion of the insularity and complacency evident to some degree in the church's posture in earlier decades, the maturing of the movement, its willingness to position itself in relation to the rest of the Christian world, and the significant growth it has experienced in some developing nations.

See Also

Eddy, Mary Baker.

Bibliography

The basic document of the Christian Science movement is Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1875; reprint, Boston, 1914), which contains the full statement of its teaching. Extensive historical background on Christian Science can be found in Robert Peel's trilogy, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery, The Years of Trial, The Years of Authority (New York, 19661977). Peel's earlier Christian Science: Its Encounter with American Culture (New York, 1958) places Christian Science in its New England cultural context, relating it to both transcendentalism and pragmatism, while my own The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life (Berkeley, 1973) gives a full account of Christian Science within the context of American religious development. An early, pathbreaking study of the theology of Christian Science is the essay by Karl Holl, "Szientismus," in Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Kirchengeschichte, vol. 3 (Tübingen, 19211928). A representative though reductionist treatment of Christian Science from a sociological perspective is the section on Christian Science in Bryan R. Wilson's Sects and Societies: A Sociological Study of the Elim Tabernacle, Christian Science and Christadelphians (1961; reprint, Westport, Conn., 1978). Charles S. Braden's Christian Science Today: Power, Policy, Practice (Dallas, 1958) attempts an overview of organizational developments, drawing largely on dissident sources. One reason for the paucity of adequate academic accounts of Christian Science is suggested in Thomas C. Johnsen's article "Historical Consensus and Christian Science: The Career of a Manuscript Controversy," New England Quarterly 53 (March 1980): 322. A popular but slapdash history of the early phases of the movement is Norman Beasley's The Cross and the Crown (New York, 1952). Basic documentation on Christian Science healing is given in the church-published A Century of Christian Science Healing (Boston, 1966).

New Sources

Christian Science Publishing House. Christian Science: A Sourcebook of Contemporary Materials. Boston, 2000.

Fraser, Caroline. God's Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church. New York, 1999.

Harley, Gail M. Emma Curtis Hopkins: Forgotten Founder of New Thought. Syracuse, N.Y., 2002.

Schoepflin, Rennie B. Christian Science on Trial: Religious Healing in America. Baltimore, 2003.

Stephen Gottschalk (1987)

Revised Bibliography

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Christian Science

Christian Science

Church of Christ, Scientist

Infinite Way

International Metaphysical Association

William Samuel Foundation

Truth Center

United Christian Scientists

Church of Christ, Scientist

Christian Science Church Center, Boston, MA 02115-3195

Alternate Address

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, 210 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA 02115-3195.

The Church of Christ, Scientist, grew out of the experiences, work, and writings of Mary Baker Eddy. Following her healing in 1866, which happened concurrently with her discovery of God as the sole reality of life, Eddy began a period of Bible study that involved testing the practicality of her new discovery, as well as questioning the earlier teachings on mental healing she had received from Phineas P. Quimby. The result was the development of her thought, first expressed in a booklet, The Science of Man (1870), and later embodied in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1875). Eddy began almost immediately to apply the precepts of Christian Science to healing and to teach them informally to others. Her work led her to seek a letter of dismissal from the Congregational Church in which she was raised, and in 1876 she founded the Christian Science Association, the first organization for her students.

The next 16 years saw the development of a variety of organizational expressions, some temporary, some lasting. A final reorganization in 1892, and the development of the church’s by-laws in the Church Manual (1895), resulted in the church as it is known today. These 16 years were punctuated by the formation of the Church of Christ, Scientist, in 1879; Eddy’s ordination in 1881; the dissolution of the church in 1889; and its reorganization in 1892. This reorganization placed the governance of the Christian Science movement in the First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Boston, generally known as the Mother Church. The remainder of Eddy’s life was spent in perfecting the textbook of the movement, which went through several revisions, and in completing by-laws as codified in the Church Manual. The texts of these two volumes remain the prime sources of the church’s doctrine and polity.

The beliefs of the Church of Christ, Scientist, are summarized in a set of Tenets printed in both Science and Health (p. 497) and the Church Manual (p. 15). The Church defines itself as Christian in essence, a major difference between it and most other “metaphysical” churches with which it is often compared. The Tenets affirm the Church’s allegiance to the inspired Word of the Bible as the sufficient guide to Life, and belief in one God, God’s Son, the Holy Ghost, and man as being in God’s likeness and image. Forgiveness for sin comes with spiritual understanding that casts out evil as having no God-ordained reality. Jesus is acknowledged as the Way-shower. His atonement, as the evidence of God’s love and salvation, comes through the Truth, Life, and Love he demonstrated in his healing activity and by his overcoming sin and death.

Healing activity following the principles laid down in the Bible and in Science and Health has been the keynote of the Christian Science movement. Christian healing is a normal practice among members—with some giving their full time to the ministry of spiritual healing. This is in accord with Eddy’s experience of the allness of God. Spiritual healing is distinct from other forms of healing, especially psychic or magnetic healing.

Eddy is held in high regard by Christian Scientists. The church does, however, carefully distinguish Eddy’s status and role as the discoverer of Christian Science from that of Jesus as the Savior of humanity. In like measure, while acknowledging the essential and central role of the Christian Science textbook, it does not understand Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures to be a second Scripture or a revelation equal in authority to the Bible. Rather, Science and Health is considered a tool for understanding the Bible.

The governance of the Christian Science movement is vested in the Mother Church, whose rules of operation are spelled out in the Church Manual. Administration is placed in a five-member, self-perpetuating board of directors. The board charters branch churches, which are run according to their own democratic control (apart from any matters covered in the Church Manual). Worship in all branch churches is conducted by elected readers, each of whom must be a member in good standing of the Mother Church. Services in the branch churches consist of readings from scripture and Science and Health. The exact passages for each week are delineated in The Christian Science Quarterly.

Publications of the Church are produced by the Christian Science Publishing Society and its board of directors. Included in its publications are its award-winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor; its prime foreign language periodical, The Herald of Christian Science (published in 12 languages and in braille for the blind); and numerous books and pamphlets. Eddy’s writings are controlled and published by the Trustees Under the Will of Mary Baker Eddy. Under the board of directors of the Mother Church is a board of lectureship that approves speakers who travel the world offering free public lectures on Christian Science. The Committee on Publication is charged with correcting false information about the church and injustices done to Mrs. Eddy, the Mother Church, and Christian Scientists.

Headquarters of the church are in the Christian Science Church Center (also known as Christian Science Plaza), a large complex in Boston, Massachusetts, that has become one of the city’s most-visited tourist stops. As of 2008 approximately 2,000 branch churches and societies exist in more than 80 nations of the world (though approximately 73 percent of the membership is in North America).

Membership

Not reported.

Educational Facilities

Principia College, Elsah, Illinois. (Unofficial.)

Periodicals

The Christian Science Monitor. • The Christian Science Journal. • Christian Science Sentinel. • The Herald of Christian Science. • The Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons (Study Edition) (published in 12 languages).

Remarks

Since its founding, the Church of Christ, Scientist, has been the subject of intense controversy. Its healing emphasis brought criticism from a variety of perspectives, encompassing both those who shared the emphasis but followed a different set of teachings and practices, and those who disapproved of any form of spiritual healing. The most intense criticism found its way into various legal proceedings and has led to an extensive body of legal opinion defining the rights and limits of Christian Science practice. Courts have defined Christian Science healing as a form of worship and thus a legally protected activity of the church. Deductions for some Christian Science services are allowed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Various state-level committees have issued handbooks defining the legal rights and obligations of Christian Scientists in some detail.

During the 1880s Eddy was accused of drawing her teachings from Phineas P. Quimby—first by Annetta Dresser and her husband, Julius Dresser, who, like Eddy, had been students of Quimby, and later by numerous members of what became known as the New Thought movement. An impartial examination of Eddy’s writings and the publications of the Church of Christ, Scientist, however, reveals an essential difference between Eddy’s teachings on healing and those of Quimby and shows that the major similarity lies in the area of terminology, and results from the attempt to struggle with some of the same questions of religion and health.

The Church of Christ, Scientist, has maintained over the years that there is a basic gulf between its teachings and those of the New Thought movement. This difference is highlighted in Eddy’s rejection of Quimby’s adherence to magnetic healing and the movement’s abandonment of Eddy’s essential Christian orientation. The Church also disapproves of the emphasis in the movement on prosperity and the openness to various psychic and occult practices most evident in some of the larger New Thought groups. Christian Science retains a focus on healing and has denounced Spiritualism and animal magnetism, the forms of the occult most evident in Eddy’s lifetime, from its earliest years. Some obvious differences between New Thought and Christian Science can be seen by comparing the Tenets of the Church with the Declaration of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA). Despite these differences, the two movements are historically related. New Thought was, to a great extent, built upon the work of Eddy’s early students, particularly Emma Curtis Hopkins, and used Science and Health as a major sourcebook. Today, New Thought groups vary considerably, from those who are close to Eddy’s teaching to those who more closely follow Quimby while developing their own form of metaphysical thought.

Finally, over the years the Church has had to face formal and informal challenges to its authority, beginning with the various individuals and groups claiming to have inherited Mary Baker Eddy’s authority. These challenges led to the formation of several movements, such as the Christian Science Parent Church, none of which prospered more than a few years. There is, of course, a small but steady stream of practitioners who have left the church and who continue to practice independently. Many have built a successful personal following (possibly the most prominent being Joel S. Goldsmith). Most, however, have been anti-organization and their following has continued only briefly after their retirement or death.

Sources

Church of Christ, Scientist. www.churchofchristscientist.org.

Braden, Charles S. Christian Science Today. Dallas, TX: Southern Methodist University Press, 1958.

Christian Science: A Sourcebook of Contemporary Materials. Boston: Christian Science Publishing Society, 1990.

Eddy, Mary Baker. Church Manual of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. Boston: Trustees Under the Will of Mary Baker Eddy, 1908.

———. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Boston: Trustees Under the Will of Mary Baker Eddy, 1906.

Gill, Gillian. Mary Baker Eddy. Reading, MA: Perseus Books, 1998.

Gottschalk, Stephen. The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973.

Peel, Robert. Mary Baker Eddy. 3 vols. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1971.

Swihart, Altman K. Since Mrs. Eddy. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1931.

Infinite Way

PO Box 8260, Moreno Valley, CA 92552

The Infinite Way is the name given to the teachings of Joel S. Goldsmith (1892–1964), a nonpracticing Jew who encountered Christian Science as a young man. When Goldsmith’s father was healed by a practitioner in 1915, Goldsmith began seriously to study Christian Science. Later, consulting a practitioner for help with a cold, he found himself cured not only of the cold, but also of smoking and drinking. The experience changed his life. He began to pray for people, and to his amazement, they were healed. He joined the Church of Christ, Scientist, and became a practitioner, a practice he pursued for sixteen years. In 1946, however, after having grown uncomfortable with the pressure of the organization, he withdrew from the church. He began working on a book, The Infinite Way, and then accepted invitations to teach and lecture, primarily on the West Coast and Hawaii.

In 1946, a year after withdrawing from Christian Science, he experienced a mystic “initiation” that lasted over several months and that has been described as lifting him to a new dimension of life, a God-experience. Most of the Infinite Way emphases derive from that incident. The Infinite Way represents a mystical form of Christian Science. Without rejecting healing or prosperity demonstration, Goldsmith centered his teaching on the experience of God, believing that the seeker of truth begins with solving problems and overcoming discord. When these endeavors become futile, he can then perceive that one can transcend them. Desiring to improve his human condition, he can move toward spiritual consciousness.

Spiritual consciousness is attained by contemplative meditation, the holding of spiritual truth in the consciousness. As posited by the Infinite Way, pure meditation is the state of complete silence within. God is within; people cannot make it so, they can only come to the realization. To establish a relationship with the God within is to be able to tap the ready supply of all that makes life worthwhile. As the Infinite Way stresses, God appears as the many, but appearance must not be confused with reality. Christ is the activity of truth within each individual consciousness. The revelation brought by Jesus is the revelation of the Christ.

Goldsmith rejected the idea of founding another organization, and during his lifetime the Infinite Way existed only as an informal circle of his students. However, he did offer regular classes that were taped and transcribed (and later became the bases for several books). A newsletter provided a means to keep the scattered students in regular contact. The first of several Infinite Way study centers appeared in Chicago in 1954. For several years after Goldsmith’s death, his wife, Emma Goldsmith (1904–1986), continued to issue the newsletter from Hawaii, with the editorial assistance of Lorraine Sinkler, a longtime student. Emma Goldsmith moved to Arizona, and with the assistance of Thelma G. “Geri” McDonald, her daughter (by a previous marriage), continued to make available the tapes of his lectures. McDonald continued this work after her mother’s death. The majority of Goldsmith’s material has been edited by Sinkler and published in book form.

Membership

Because the Infinite Way is not an organization but rather a designation given to Goldsmith’s teachings, there is no formal membership. In 2008 McDonald reported that she and her daughter, Sue Ropac, were available to conduct classes and give lectures upon invitation.

Periodicals

The Monthly Letter.

Sources

The Infinite Way. www.joelgoldsmith.com.

Goldsmith, Joel S. The Art of Spiritual Healing. New York: Harper & Row, 1959.

———. The Infinite Way. San Gabriel, CA: Willing Publishing Company, 1961.

Sinkler, Lorraine. The Alchemy of Awareness. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.

———. The Spiritual Journey of Joel S. Goldsmith. New York: Harper & Row, 1973.

International Metaphysical Association

Current address not obtained for this edition.

Among the various independent Christian Science groups, the International Metaphysical Association (IMA), formed in 1955, is perhaps the largest and most influential. It was formed by a number of ex-members of the Church of Christ, Scientist, who saw that the often individual, fragmentary and undisciplined study of independent followers of Mary Baker Eddy was inadequate. The Association has as its purposes to bring to public notice Eddy’s scientific revelation, and to encourage students of Christian Science to regard the teachings as a science and approach them in an orderly way.

To accomplish these goals, it sponsors television and radio work, lectures and special schools, and publishes a number of pamphlets and books. Closely associated is the independent Rare Book Company, which has reprinted the first three editions of Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy and serves as a clearinghouse and distributor of much Christian Science literature.

The IMA is headed by a seven-member board of trustees which included Ethel Schroeder, a popular speaker and writer. In 1966, it sponsored its first international conference, which featured popular independent Christian Scientists from Europe: Peggy Brook, Max Kappeler, and Gordon Brown. A second conference was held in California in 1968. At the time of last publication, the mailing list of the IMA included students from around the United States, some of whom were banded into study groups that use IMA material.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

Independent Christian Science Quarterly.

Sources

Brown, W. Gordon. Christian Science Nonsectarian. Haslemere, Surrey, England: Gordon & Estelle Brown, 1966.

Kappeler, Max. Animal Magnetism–Unmasked. London: Foundational Book Company Limited, 1975.

Schroeder, Ethel. Science of Christianity. New York: International Metaphysical Association, n.d.

William Samuel Foundation

307 N Montgomery St., Ojai, CA 93023

William Samuel (1924–1996) was a writer and teacher in the field of religion, science, and metaphysics. In 1968 he began publishing Notes from Woodsong (originally Notes from Lollygog), sent to an unspecified number of students across the United States. Groups in several areas formed to study the letters and Samuel’s books, most notably A Guide to Awareness and Tranquillity. Samuel professed a profound sense of well-being and a surprising ability to pass that well-being on to others. He asserted that tranquillity is acquired not through step-by-step methods but rather by simplicity and honesty in a childlike approach.

Periodicals

The Child Within, A Journal.

Membership

Not a membership organization. The foundation looks to a community of like-minded people who support the ideas articulated in Samuel’s books and wish to communicate with each other about living with these ideas.

Sources

William Samuel and Friends. www.williamsamuel.com/.

Samuel, William. The Child within Us Lives!: A Synthesis of Science, Religion and Metaphysics. Mountain Brook, AL: Mountain Brook Publications, 1986.

———. A Guide to Awareness and Tranquillity. Lakemont, GA: CSA Press, 1967.

———. The Melody of the Woodcutter and the King. Palo Alto, CA: Seed Center, 1976.

———. 2 Plus 2=Reality. Lakemont, GA: CSA Press, 1963.

Truth Center

566 Crestview Dr., Ojai, CA 93023

Truth Center was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1970 by W. Norman Cooper. Born in Winnipeg, Canada, in the 1920s, as a youth Cooper moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1939. He received his college degree from Chapman College and a Doctor of Divinity degree from Eastern Nebraska Christian College (associated with the Congregational Church of Practical Theology and now superceded by St. John’s University, Ponchatoula, Louisiana). An active church worker, he withdrew from church life in 1965 and spent three years largely in meditation. After his years of withdrawal he began to hold one-day seminars to share his discoveries and later initiated Sunday services. This activity led to the organization of Truth Center.

Cooper’s teachings emphasize two principal aspects. He teaches the Bible and Bible history (primarily the Gospels) as illustrative of the inner life. In this process he has come to believe that the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas provides the purest presentation of Jesus’teachings. Secondly, he emphasizes the inner search for one’s divine Self. He advises daily meditation. The inward search should lead to a realization of the individual’s oneness with the Source, i.e., God. Cooper also stresses the need for activity in the world as opposed to merely a self-centered mysticism.

Membership

At the time of last publication, there was one center in Los Angeles where most of Cooper’s students resided. However, some of Cooper’s students were scattered across the United States.

Sources

Cooper, W. Norman. Dance with God. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Company, 1982.

———. The Non-Thinking Self. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Company, 1980.

Field, Filip. W. Norman Cooper, a Prophet for Our Time. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Company, 1979.

Witt, Roselyn. W. Norman Cooper, A View of a Holy Man. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Company, 1982.

United Christian Scientists

Current address not obtained for this edition.

United Christian Scientists was founded in 1975 in New Jersey by a group of independent students of Christian Science. The following year David James Nolan of San Jose, California, was elected to serve as chairman of the religious education foundation. The prime issue raised by the United Christian Scientists concerns the polity of the Church of Christ, Scientist. They filed a suit seeking to have the text of the writings of Mary Baker Eddy declared in the public domain and were successful. More recently they have begun a probe into the issues involved in the establishment of centralized control at the Boston, Massachusetts, headquarters of the Church of Christ, Scientist, in what they consider to be flagrant disregard of Eddy’s instructions to dissolve such control at the time of her passing.

The United Christian Scientists operate within the context of the larger movement of independent Christian Scientists, continuing their work individually in much the same way as they did prior to leaving the Church of Christ, Scientist.

Membership

Not reported.

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Christian Science

Christian Science

In 1875 Mary Baker Eddy, one of the most fascinating and controversial religious leaders in American history, finished her best-known work, Science and Health. Her followers are known as Christian Scientists, and she is the founder of what is called Christian Science. The Church of Christ (Scientist) was incorporated in 1879. Today Christian Science is known mainly for its famous newspaper (The Christian Science Monitor) and for the reluctance of members to follow traditional medical procedures.

Boston is the site of the Mother Church and the denomination's world headquarters. Christian Science has a worldwide following, though its popularity has declined since the death of Eddy in 1910. Born on July 16, 1821, in Bow, New Hampshire, Eddy (née Baker) joined the Congregational Church in her teenage years. Her religious outlook changed in the early 1860s through her contact with Phineas Park-hurt Quimby (1802–1866).

Quimby, a native of Maine, was shaped in his medical and religious outlook by the thought of Franz Mesmer (1734–1815), an Austrian physician known for his radical views on the power of trancelike states. Quimby became fascinated with Mesmerism, hypnotism, and other medical therapies that illustrated the profound impact of the mind on human health. Quimby's ideas were revolutionary to Mary Baker Eddy and also had an impact on the founders of the New Thought movement (Warren Felt Evans, Annetta Seabury Dresser, and Julius Dresser), a religious cousin to Christian Science.

In Eddy's life and since her death, her relationship with Quimby has been the source of much debate. New Thought leaders have accused Eddy of plagiarism, suggesting that there is nothing original in her ideology. Christian Scientists have preferred to downplay Quimby's role in Eddy's development. However, it is evident that his impact on her was considerable, though the departures from Quimby on key theological and ecclesiastical issues and her own originality must be noted.

Christian Scientists point to Eddy's own healing story as the central biographical moment in the life of Christian Science. After she had a nasty fall on February 1, 1866, Eddy claimed that her miraculous healing came because of her prayers, her faith in God, and the recognition that mind has power over false beliefs about illness. This healing claim is expressed in Eddy's well-known (and complicated) view that matter is not real. Healing comes as one places trust in God (the author of Spirit) over the illusory power of false material claims.

As Eddy developed her own healing and religious ministry, her movement was hurt by internal division and by external critiques. Mark Twain wrote a biting exposé about her, accusing her of money grubbing, dictatorship, medical fraud, and outright delusion. Eddy weathered these storms, and she sheltered herself in later years in her home in Concord, New Hampshire.

Christian Science is a version of absolute idealism. Resistance to traditional medicine is rooted in an objection to emphasis on the physical realm. The focus away from the physical also explains why the church has no rite of water baptism and communion is understood as meditation only. Christian Scientists use traditional theological vocabulary, though the meaning of words is oriented to Eddy's symbolic and idealistic interpretations.

Conservative Christians have always attacked the Christian Science understanding of the Trinity, creation, the nature of Christ, the meaning of the death of Jesus, and views about heaven and hell. They have also targeted Christian Scientists for their elevation of Mary Baker Eddy, their reliance on her writings, and their understanding of divine healing.

Secular criticism of Christian Science has been directed to recent economic turmoil in the movement, and also to the church's controversial rejection of standard medical procedures, particularly in cases involving children. Internally, Christian Science has suffered from strong dissent over some disastrous financial moves by church leaders, the church-sponsored publication of a very controversial book about Mary Baker Eddy by Bliss Knapp, and allegations that the church is dictatorial in its mode of decision making.

Bliss Knapp (1877–1958) was the son of a prominent early follower of Eddy. The younger Knapp inherited his father's love for the Book of Revelation. Out of that study, Bliss Knapp speculated that Eddy had status equal to Jesus and that she was one of the central figures in the apostle's apocalyptic visions. Knapp's book The Destiny of the Mother Church (privately printed in 1947) was later refused publication by the Christian Science Publishing Society. In his will Knapp threatened that his family's wealth would not go to the church unless it published his book by 1993. The amount in question was over $90 million by 1990. The church met the deadline with official publication, but that move created enormous controversy.

The more vigorous external attack on the church's controversial healing methods has been met by the decades-long assertion of the freedom of Christian Scientists to practice their religion and of the right of Christian Science parents to raise their children in obedience to church belief and tradition. American courts have been reluctant to prosecute adults who choose to reject traditional medicine. Cases involving children have been much more complicated—emotionally, morally, and legally.

Caroline Fraser drew national attention to this issue in a major report in the April 1995 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. Under the title "Suffering Children and the Christian Science Church," Fraser, herself from a Christian Science background, documented the recent woes of Christian Science, focusing on dramatic cases of childhood deaths involving Christian Science faith healing. Church members replied to her article by citing alleged cases of positive healing, disputing the causal elements in the relevant cases she cited, and chiding her for not allowing freedom of religion.

Rita and Doug Swan, former Christian Scientists, started a national organization called CHILD (Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty) in 1983. Their work arose out of their lengthy legal battle with the church over the death of their son Matthew. He had meningitis, but they refused standard medical treatment for him out of belief that Christian Science healing traditions were correct. Caroline Fraser draws attention to this death, among others. She ends her article with bitterness: "As it is, if 7,000 children attend Christian Science Sunday schools in this country, then 7,000 children may have nothing standing between themselves and death but Science and Health and dumb luck."

One impact of the tragic cases Fraser cites is a growing moderation among some Christian Science faith healers. There have been arguments advanced that Eddy allowed a combination of faith and medicine in her own life (she is said to have taken morphine in her later years) and that common sense demands greater access to traditional medical procedures. These moderates also argue that Christian Scientists are allowed to go to dentists, wear glasses, and have broken bones fixed at the local hospital. Why not allow surgery for cancer or drugs for diabetes?

Christian Science leaders have responded aggressively in court to challenges about medical malpractice and have mounted effective public relations campaigns about the importance of religious liberty in American life. Ironically, some Christian Science dissidents (like Stephen Gottschalk) have accused the church of ignoring the liberty of its own members to ask hard questions about what constitutes true allegiance to Eddy's teachings. These questions will continue to dominate Christian Science as it continues into its second century as one of America's most controversial religious movements.


See alsoFreedom of Religion; Healing; New Thought; Trance.

Bibliography

Gardner, Martin. The Healing RevelationsofMary BakerEddy. 1993.

Gill, Gillian. Mary Baker Eddy. 1998.

Gottschalk, Stephen. The Emergence ofChristianSciencein American Religious Life. 1973.

Peel, Robert. Mary Baker Eddy. 3 vols. 1966 –1977.

Twain, Mark. Christian Science. 1907.

James A. Beverley

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Christian Science

Christian Science

1484

Church of Christ, Scientist

Christian Science Center
Boston, MA 02115

The Church of Christ, Scientist grew out of the experiences, work and writings of Mary Baker Eddy. Following her healing in 1866, which happened concurrently with her discovery of God as the sole reality of life, Eddy began a period of Bible study which involved testing the practicality of her new discovery, as well as questioning the earlier teachings on mental healing she had received from Phineas P. Quimby. The result was the development of her thought, first expressed in a booklet, The Science of Man(1870) and later embodied in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures(1875). She began almost immediately to apply the precepts of Christian Science to healing and to teach them informally to others. Her work led her to seek a letter of dismissal from the Congregational Church in which she was raised, and in 1876 she founded the Christian Science Association, the first organization for her students.

The next 16 years were ones of the development of a variety of organizational expressions, some temporary, some lasting. A final reorganization in 1892 and the development of the church's by-laws in the Church Manual(1895), resulted in the church as it is known today. These 16 years were punctuated by the formation of the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879; Eddy's ordination in 1881; the dissolution of the church in 1889; and its reorganization in 1892. This reorganization placed the governance of the Christian Science movement in the First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Boston, generally known as The Mother Church. The remainder of Eddy's life was spent in perfecting the textbook of the movement which went through several revisions and in completing by-laws as codified in the Church Manual. The texts of these two volumes remain the prime sources of the church's doctrine and polity.

The beliefs of the Church of Christ, Scientist are summarized in the Tenets printed in both Science and Health(p. 497) and the Church Manual(p. 15). The Church defines itself as Christian in essence, a major difference between it and most other "metaphysical" churches with which it is often compared. The Tenets affirm the Church's allegiance to the inspired Word of the Bible as the sufficient guide to Life; one God; God's Son; the Holy Ghost; and man as being in God's likeness and image. Forgiveness for sin comes in spiritual understanding that casts out evil as having no God-ordained reality. Jesus is acknowledged as the Way-shower. His atonement, as the evidence of God's love and salvation, comes through the Truth, Life, and Love he demonstrated in his healing activity and by his overcoming sin and death.

Healing activity following the principles laid down in the Bible and in Science and Health has been the keynote of the Christian Science movement. Christian healing is a normal practice among members–some giving their full time to the ministry of spiritual healing. This is in accord with Eddy's experience of the allness of God. It is distinct from other forms of healing, especially psychic or magnetic healing.

Eddy is held in high regard by Christian Scientists. The church does, however, carefully distinguish Eddy's status and role as the discoverer of Christian Science from that of Jesus as the Savior of humanity. In like measure, while acknowledging the essential and central role of the Christian Science textbook, it does not understand Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures to be a second Scripture or a revelation equal in authority to the Bible. Rather, Science and Health is considered a tool for understanding the Bible.

The governance of the Christian Science movement is vested in The Mother Church, whose rules of operation are spelled out in the Church Manual. Administration is placed in a five-member self-perpetuating board of directors. The board charters branch churches, which are run according to their own democratic control (apart from any matters covered in the Church Manual). Worship in all branch churches is conducted by elected readers, each of whom must be a member in good standing of The Mother Church. Services in the branch churches consist of readings from scripture and Science and Health. The exact passages for eachweek are delineated in The Christian Science Quarterly.

Publications of the Church are produced by the Christian Science Publishing Society and its Board of Directors. Included in its publications are its award-winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor, its prime foreign language periodical The Herald of Christian Science(published in 12 languages and braille for the blind), and numerous books and pamphlets. Eddy's writings are controlled and published by the Trustees Under the Will of Mary Baker Eddy. Under the Board of Directors of The Mother Church is a Board of Lectureship which approves speakers who travel the world offering free public lectures on Christian Science. The Committee on Publication is charged with correcting false information about the church and injustices done to Mrs. Eddy, The Mother Church, and Christian Scientists.

Headquarters of the church are in the Christian Science Church Center, a large complex in Boston, Massachusetts, which has become one of the city's most-visited tourist stops. Branch churches are found in more than 70 nations of the world (though approximately 73 percent of the membership is in North America).

Membership: Not reported.

Educational Facilities: Unofficial: Principia College, Elsah, Illinois.

Periodicals: The Christian Science Monitor. • The Christian Science Journal. • Christian Science Sentinel Christian Science Quarterly. • The Herald of Christian Science–in 12 languages. Available from One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

Remarks: Since its founding, the Church of Christ, Scientist, has been the subject of intense controversy. Its healing emphasis brought criticism from a variety of perspectives, both those who shared the emphasis but followed a different set of teachings and practice, and those who disapproved of any form of spiritual healing. The most intense criticism found its way into various legal proceedings and has led to an extensive body of legal opinion defining the rights and limits of Christian Science practice. Courts have defined Christian Science healing as a legally protected activity of the church as a form of worship. Deductions for some Christian Science services are allowed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Various state-level committees on publication have issued handbooks defining the legal rights and obligations of Christian Scientists in some detail.

During the 1880s Eddy was accused of drawing her teachings from Phineas P. Quimby, first by Annetta Dresser and her husband, Julius Dresser who, like Eddy, had been students of Quimby, and later by numerous members of what became known as the New Thought movement. An examination of Eddy's writings and the publications of the Church of Christ, Scientist, reveals an essential difference between Eddy's teachings on healing and those of Quimby and finds the major similarity to be in the area of terminology, and the attempt to struggle with some of the same questions of religion and health.

The Church of Christ, Scientist has maintained over the years that there is a basic gulf between its teachings and those of the New Thought movement. This difference is highlighted in Eddy's rejection of Quimby's adherence to magnetic healing and the movement's abandonment of Eddy's essential Christian orientation. The Church also disapproves of the emphasis in the movement on prosperity and the openness to various psychic and occult practices most evident in some of the larger New Thought groups. Christian Science retains a focus on healing and has denounced Spiritualism and animal magnetism, the forms of the occult most evident in Eddy's lifetime, from its earliest years. Some obvious differences between New Thought and Christian Science can be seen by comparing the Tenets of the Church with the Declaration of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA). Despite these differences, the two movements are historicall related. New thought was, to a great extent, built upon the work of Eddy's early students, particularly Emma Curtis Hopkins, and used Science and Health as a major sourcebook. Today New Thought groups vary considerably, from those who are close to Eddy's teaching to those who more closely follow Quimby while developing their own form of metaphysical thought.

Finally, over the years the Church has had to face formal and informal challenges to its authority, beginning with the various individuals and groups claiming to have inherited Mary Baker Eddy's authority. These challenges led to the formation of several movements, such as the Christian Science Parent Church, none of which prospered more than a few years. There is, of course, a small but steady stream of practitioners who have left the church and who continue to practice independently. Many have built a successful personal following (possibly the most prominent being Joel S. Goldsmith). Most, however, have been anti-organization and their following has continued only briefly after their retirement and/or death.

Sources:

Braden, Charles S. Christian Science Today. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1958.

Christian Science: A Sourcebook of Contemporary Materials. Boston: Christian Science Publishing Society, 1990.

Eddy, Mary Baker. Church Manual of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass. Boston: Trustees Under the Will of Mary Baker Eddy, 1908.

——. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Boston: Trustees Under the Will of Mary Baker Eddy, 1906.

Gill, Gillian. Mary Baker Eddy. Reading, MA: Perseus Books, 1998.

Gottschalk, Stephen. The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973.

Peel, Robert. Mary Baker Eddy. 3 vols. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971.

Swihart, Altman K. Since Mrs. Eddy. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1931.

1485

Church of Integration

(Defunct)

The Church of Integration was founded in 1935 as the Society of Life, but has roots that go back to 1912 and the formation in London, England, of a small group of former members of the Church of Christ, Scientist around Annie C. Bill (1865?-1937). Bill, a member of the Third Church of Christ, Scientist, in London, resigned after a friend of hers, R. L. Rawson, was excommunicated. The church took exception to Rawson's book, Life Understood, which Bill had a hand in writing. Rawson would later found a prominent British New Thought group, the Society for the Propagation of True Prayer. In the meantime, a few months after Bill resigned, Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the church, died and left no successor. Bill became convinced that she was the true successor and in 1912 organized what became known as the Christian Science Parent Church. After World War I she moved to the United States and in 1924 established the church in America.

At the time Bill became active in America, the Church of Christ, Scientist was involved in an intense controversy which had grown out of varying interpretations of Eddy's instruction to the church once she had died. Her church acquired members from among the losers in that battle, the most prominent being John V. Dittemore. About the same time, she made a most significant convert, A. A. Beauchamp, who turned over the services of his publishing house, including his magazine, Watchman of Israel, to the new church. The new church grew steadily. In the 1926 Census of Religious Bodies it reported 29 churches and 582 members in the United States. By 1928 there were 44 branches, including churches in Great Britain, Australia, and Canada, with approximately 80 branches and 1,200 members by 1930.

The last major development of Bill's church occurred around 1930. During the 1920s Bill had become convinced that many of the criticisms leveled by Eddy's critics were true. In particular, she came to believe that Eddy had been a frequent user of morphine and that she had derived many of her teachings from Phineas P. Quimby, the healer who had been her teacher in the 1860s. Bill concluded that Eddy no longer deserved the central role the parent church had accorded her and that Eddy's textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, was no longer a valid textbook. She authored a new textbook, The Science of Reality(1930),which replaced The Universal Design of Life(1924), the older volume that acknowledged Eddy's authority. She also reorganized the parent church into the Church of Universal Design and The Watchman became The Universal Design, A Journal of Applied Metaphysics.

Two ideas dominated the new church. First, Bill suggested the possibility of conscious spiritual evolution by direct intention and in accordance with a universal design of Life which impels periodic transformations. The design is based upon the prior recognition that Mind is God and that the universe unfolds from Mind. This unfoldment follows a sevenfold pattern. Secondly, response to the design was also built into the new organization. When the church's recognized leader died, the church entered an interim period during which church directors appointed deputy leaders to carry on the services of the church until a new leader emerged who demonstrated that s/he had made the discovery of the next successive step in the design of Life.

Bill adopted several controvesial ideas which took prominence in the church's beliefs. A. A. Beauchamp had been an advocate of British-Israelism, the idea that the modern Anglo-Saxon people of northern and western Europe and North America were the descendents of the ancient 10 tribes of Israel. His magazine, published on behalf of British-Israelism, became the magazine of the parent church and the central perspective adopted by Bill. She also came to believe in pyramidology, the idea that the measurements and geometric design of the Great Pyramid in Egypt had religious and prophetic significance.

The transition from the Church of Universal Design to the Church of Integration occurred following Bill's death in 1937 in a manner quite similar to the pattern she had proposed. In 1934 Francis J. Mott (b. 1901), who had been with Bill since 1922, withdrew from the Church of Universal Design. Claiming new light on the spiritual process, he organized The Society of Life. Following Bill's death he presented his new findings and new organization to the leaders of the Church of Universal Design and won their support. They voted to dissolve the church and urged all the members to join the society. Overwhelmingly they did, though there were a few exceptions, such as Dittemore who wrote a letter to the Church of Christ, Scientist, recanting his association with Bill.

Over the next decade, the society evolved and in several years emerged as the Church of Integration. As evolved, the church saw itself still in continuity with the Church of Christ, Scientist. It tenets acknowledge one God who creates according to One Plan. Particular reverence is given to the "Seed in the Church," that is the discoverer of the new, often at first looked upon as a heretic, who is actually the bearer of a new birth for the church. Mott also believed that the new Seed need not wait until the death of the present leader before addressing the mind of the church.

Mott initially published his views in a several books (published by A. A. Beauchamp) and over a decade issued at least four editions of the covenant of the new church. The British branch of the church was destroyed in the chaos of World War II. In America the church survived and briefly revived after the war. A new magazine, Integration, was issued from the church's headquarters in Washington, D.C., beginning in 1946. Eventually, however, the church, which was never numerically strong, dissolved.

At least one follower of Bill who opposed Mott's leadership, Mary Sayles Atkins, continued to write, under her pen name, Mary Sayles Moore, about Bill and during the 1950s published several volumes with A. A. Beauchamp, who had left the Church of Integration in the 1940s. Her most important volume was Conquest of Chaos, which reviewed Bill's career and the rise of Mott.

Remarks: The organization headed by Annie C. Bill frequently changed names, a fact that can be confusing to anyone seeking information on the church. Founded orginally as the Central Assembly of the Church of Christian Science in 1913 in England, it became the New Church of Christ, Scientist, the Mother Church in 1916. The following year the name became the New Church, the Leading Christian Science Church. In the United States in 1922 it was briefly known as the New Community of Christian Scientists, the Parent Community. In 1924 it became the Christian Science Parent Church of the New Generation but was also known as the Church of the Transforming Covenant. It eventually became known as the Church of Universal Design, by which it was known until Bill died.

Sources:

Bill, Annie C. The Universal Design of Life. Boston: A. A. Beauchamp, 1924.

Mott, Francis J. Christ the Seed. Boston: A. A. Beauchamp, [1939].

——. Consciousness Creative. Boston: A.A. Beauchamp, 1937.

——. The Universal Design of Birth. Philadelphia: David McKay Company, 1948.

Spiritual Organization. New York: Integration Publishing Company, 1946.

Swihart, Altma K. Since Mrs. Eddy. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1931.

1486

Infinite Way

Box 2089
Peoria, AZ 85380-2089

The Infinite Way is the name given to the teachings of Joel S. Goldsmith (1892-1964). A nonpracticing Jew, Goldsmith encountered Christian Science as a young man. The father of a woman he was dating was a practitioner. When Joel's father was healed by that practitioner in 1915, Joel began seriously to study Christian Science. Later, consulting a practitioner for help with a cold, he found himself cured not only of the cold, but also of smoking and drinking. The experience changed his life. He began to pray for people, and to his amazement, they were healed. He joined the Church of Christ, Scientist, and became a practitioner, a practice he pursued for sixteen years. In the early 1940s, however, he began to feel the pressure of the organization, and in 1946 withdrew drew from the Church. He began working on the book which became The Infinite Way. Reluctantly at first, he accepted invitations to teach and lecture, primarily on the West Coast and in 1950 for the first time in Hawaii.

In 1946, a year after withdrawing from Christian Science, he experienced a mystic "initiation" which lasted over several months and which has been described as lifting him to a new dimension of life, a God-experience. Most of the Infinite Way emphases derive from that incident. The Infinite Way represents a mystical form of Christian Science. Without rejecting healing or prosperity demonstration, Goldsmith centered his teaching on the experience of God. "The Infinite Way is not to give the world a new teaching, but to give the world an experience." It was Goldsmith's belief that the seeker of truth begins with solving problems and overcoming discords. When these endeavors become futile, he can then perceive that one can transcend them. Desiring to improve his human condition, he moves out of the less pain/more pleasure syndrome into spiritual consciousness.

Methodologically, spiritual consciousness is attained by meditation. Contemplative meditation, the primal step, is the holding of spiritual truth in the consciousness. Pure meditation is the state of complete silence within. God is within. We cannot make it so; we can only come to the realization.

God is the one, hence he is all-presence, all-power and allwisdom. To establish a relationship with the god within is to be able to tap the ready supply of all that makes life worthwhile. God appears as the many, but appearance must not be confused with reality. Christ is the activity of truth within each individual consciousness. The revelation brought by Jesus is the revelation of the Christ.

Goldsmith rejected the idea of founding another organization, and during his lifetime the "Infinite Way" existed only as an informal circle of his students. However, he did fall into a pattern of offering regular classes which were taped and transcribed (an later became the bases for several books). A weekly (later monthly) newsletter was begun and provided a means to keep the scattered students in regular contact. The first of several Infinite Way study centers appeared in Chicago in 1954. For several years after Goldsmith's death, his wife, Emma Goldsmith, continued to issue the newsletter from Hawaii, with the editorial assistance of Lorraine Sinkler, a longtime student. She has more recently moved to Arizona, and with the assistance of Geri MacDonald, her daughter (by a previous marriage), continues to make available the tapes of his lectures. The majority of Goldsmith's material has been edited by Sinkler and published in book form. Individual students such as Sinkler travel around the United States lecturing to groups of people who follow Goldsmith's teaching and others facilitate gatherings which make Goldsmith's material available to local audiences.

Membership: The Infinite Way is not an organization. Rather, it is a designation given to Goldsmith's teachings and, collectively, to the unnumbered people who have accepted them.

Periodicals: Aloha Nui.

Sources:

Goldsmith, Joel S. The Art of Spiritual Healing. New York: Harper & Row, 1959.

——. The Infinite Way. San Gabriel, CA: Willing Publishing Company, 1961.

Sinkler, Lorraine. The Alchemy of Awareness. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.

——. The Spiritual Journey of Joel S. Goldsmith. New York: Harper & Row, 1973.

1487

International Metaphysical Association

Current address not obtained for this edition.

Among the various independent Christian Science groups, the International Metaphysical Association (IMA), formed in 1955, is perhaps the largest and most influential. It was formed by a number of ex-members of the Church of Christ, Scientist, who saw that the often individual, fragmentary and undisciplined study of independent followers of Mary Baker Eddy was inadequate. The Association has as its purposes to bring to public notice Eddy's scientific revelation, and to encourage students of Christian Science to regard the teachings as a science and approach them in an orderly way.

To accomplish these goals, it sponsors television and radio work, lectures and special schools, and publishes a number of pamphlets and books. Closely associated is the independent Rare Book Company, which has reprinted the first three editions of Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy and serves as a clearinghouse and distributor of much Christian Science literature.

The IMA is headed by a seven-member board of trustees which included Ethel Schroeder, a popular speaker and writer. In 1966, it sponsored its first international conference, which featured popular independent Christian Scientists from Europe: Peggy Brook, Max Kappeler and Gordon Brown. A second conference was held in California in 1968. The mailing list of the IMA includes students from around the United States, some of whom are banded into study groups which use IMA material.

Membership: Not reported.

Periodicals: Independent Christian Science Quarterly.

Sources:

Brown, W. Gordon. Christian Science Nonsectarian. Haslemere, Surrey, England: Gordon & Estelle Brown, 1966.

Kappeler, Max. Animal Magnetism–Unmasked. London: Foundational Book Company Limited, 1975.

Schroeder, Ethel. Science of Christianity. New York: International Metaphysical Association, n.d.

1488

Margaret Laird Foundation

(Defunct)

Margaret Laird was a practitioner at the first Church of Christ, Scientist, in Evanston, Illinois. In the late 1930s, she was accused of erroneous teachings. These charges led to a decade of negotiations between the board of directors of the mother church and herself, ending with the removal of her name from the list of practitioners. In 1957 she resigned from the Mother Church. Mrs. Laird continued to teach and operate as an independent Christian Science practitioner. Then in 1959, she incorporated the Margaret Laird Foundation in California. The stated purposes were research into the science of being and dissemination of the results of such research. A world-wide fellowship with other independent Scientists was established and centers were opened in Liverpool and Bombay. The British group published The Liverpool Newsletter of the Margaret Laird Foundation a bimonthly periodical.

Among the former Christian Scientists associated with Laird was Harold Woodhull Lund of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Lund published The Lund Re-View beginning in 1963 and authored a number of pamphlets. He maintained a cordial relation with the Margaret Laird Foundation and each distributed the other's writings.

Sources:

Laird, Margaret. Christian Science Re-explored. Los Angeles: Margaret Laird Foundation, 1971.

——. The Personal Concept. Los Angeles: Maragret Laird Foundation, 1969.

Lund, Harold Woodhull. Four Steps in the Evolution of Religious Thought. Bridgeport, CT: The Author, 1964.

1489

William Samuel Foundation

307 N. Montgomery St.
Ojai, CA 93023

Among the popular metaphysicians in the United States is William Samuel. Since 1968 Samuel has been publishing Notes from Woodsong(originally Notes from Lollygog), which is sent to an unspecified number of students across the United States. In several areas groups have formed to study the letters and/or Samuel's books, most notably A Guide to Awareness and Tranquility. Samuel professes a profound sense of well-being and a surprising abililty to pass that well-being on to others. He asserts that tranquility is acquired not through step-by-step methods but rather by simplicity and honesty in a childlike approach.

Periodicals: The Child Within, A Journal.

Sources:

Samuel, William. The Child Within Us Lives!: A Synthesis of Science, Religion and Metaphysics Mountain Brook, AL: Mountain Brook Publications, 1986.

——. A Guide to Awareness and Tranquility. Lakemont, GA: CSA Press, 1967.

——. The Melody of the Woodcutter and the King. Palo Alto: Seed Center, 1976.

——. 2 Plus 2=Reality. Lakemont, GA: CSA Press, 1963.

1490

Truth Center

566 Crestview Dr.
Ojai, CA 93023

Truth Center was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1970 by W. Norman Cooper. Born in Winnipeg, Canada, in the 1920s, Cooper moved as a youth with his family to Los Angeles in 1939. He received his college degree from Chapman College and a Doctor of Divinity degree from Eastern Nebraska Christian College (associated with the Congregational Church of Practical Theology and now superceded by St. John's University, Ponchatoula, Louisiana). An active church worker, he withdrew from church life in 1965 and spent three years largely in meditation. After his years of withdrawal he began to hold one-day seminars to share his discoveries and later initiated Sunday services. This activity led to the organization of Truth Center.

Cooper's teachings emphasize two principal aspects. He teaches the Bible and Bible history (primarily the Gospels) as illustrative of the inner life. In this process he has come to believe that the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas provides the purest presentation of Jesus' teachings. Secondly, he emphasizes the inner search for one's divine Self. He advises daily meditation. The inward search should lead to a realization of the individual's oneness with the Source, i.e., God. Cooper also stresses the need for activity in the world as opposed to merely a self-centered mysticism.

Membership: There is one center in Los Angeles where most of Cooper's students reside. However, some of Cooper's students are scattered across the United States.

Sources:

Cooper, W. Norman. Dance with God. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Company, 1982.

——. The Non-Thinking Self. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Company, 1980.

Field, Filip. W. Norman Cooper, a Prophet for Our Time. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Company, 1979.

Witt, Roselyn. W. Norman Cooper, A View of a Holy Man. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss & Company, 1982.

1491

United Christian Scientists

Current address not obtained for this edition.

United Christian Scientists was founded in 1975 in New Jersey by a group of independent students of Christian Science. The following year David James Nolan of San Jose, California, was elected to serve as chairman of the religious education foundation. The prime issue raised by the United Christian Scientists concern the polity of the Church of Christ, Scientist. They filed a suit seeking to have the text of the writings of Mary Baker Eddy declared in the public domain and were successful. More recently they have begun a probe into the issues involved in the establishment of centralized control at the Boston, Massachusetts, headquarters of the Church of Christ, Scientist, in what they consider to be flagrant disregard of Eddy's instructions to dissolve such control at the time of her passing.

The United Christian Scientists operate within the context of the larger movement of independent Christian Scientists, continuing their work individually in much the same way as they did prior to leaving the Church of Christ, Scientist.

Membership: Not reported

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Christian Science

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE

In the late 1860s Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910) founded a movement that became a new religion—Christian Science. Drawing on secular practices of mesmerism and mental healing, Eddy organized a church based on the actions of Jesus Christ. For example, Christian Scientists emphasize biblical passages such as Matthew 10:1, which proclaims that Jesus gave his disciples "authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity." Christian Science unites medicine and religion in a practice of healing as an act of belief. As the new religion evolved, Scientists came to believe that they could bring Christianity to its final stage, in which Eddy would figure as divine mother, successor to Christ. Christian Science grew in both membership and influence through Reconstruction and the Progressive Era. The church has endured into the twenty-first century and, with Mormonism, is one of the two most influential religions founded in the United States in the nineteenth century.

Christian Science reflects the popularized idealism of the nineteenth century. Essential to its faith is the understanding that illness results from error. Material reality is mere appearance, arising from sinful thought and condition. The body is illusion and there is no death. The erroneous claims of illness should thus be met, to use the terminology of Christian Science, by demonstrations of faith through prayer. While Christian faith healing has been practiced for many centuries, Eddy made the case for a new revelation and built a powerful medico-religious organization on her assertion.

BIOGRAPHY IN CULTURAL CONTEXT

Throughout her life Eddy displayed symptoms that doctors in the nineteenth century would have diagnosed as hysteria or neurasthenia—nervous disorders that disrupted sleep and digestion and that caused prostration and tantrums. Even as an adult, Eddy had to be carried to bed and rocked to sleep. As Willa Cather (1873–1947) documents in The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science (1909), a collection of articles that Cather ghostwrote for a journalist from Rochester, New York, named Georgine Milmine, disruption was a constant feature of Eddy's life. Eddy tried many of the nineteenth-century's popular therapeutic practices: phrenology, spiritualism, mesmerism, Sylvester Graham's diet, homeopathy, and hydropathy. She became a patient and student of the influential mental healer Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802–1866) and worked often with his manuscripts. Quimby understood mental healing to be a science and, in his writings, connected the practice to Christianity. In 1866, shortly after Quimby's death, Eddy injured herself by falling on an icy sidewalk in Lynn, Massachusetts. For comfort she read the Bible and discovered that she felt better. She later claimed the experience as a miracle. The moment was also fortunately timed. Eddy's second husband, Daniel Patterson, soon deserted her, and she needed to earn a living. Later, when she was accused of plagiarizing from Quimby, Eddy insisted on her moment of revelation. By 1870 she had written The Science of Man, by Which the Sick Are Healed; or, Questions and Answers in Moral Science and had developed a business: she trained students to be religious healers, charging them for their instruction and also claiming a percentage of their earnings.

The religion, its church, and the business of education and publishing grew rapidly. Brilliant in business, Eddy understood management, public relations, and legal strategy. The enterprise of Christian Science enjoyed visible success in a period of financial empire building; Eddy became a prominent and controversial self-made woman. As her organization grew, Eddy controlled it through a highly centralized command structure, with particular attention paid to the language of church communications, the education and certification of healers, and the management of information.

Successful as she was, to the end of her life Eddy was obsessed by the threat of mesmerism. If one could heal through prayer, one could also torment. In Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures (1875), the primary text of Christian Science, a chapter entitled "Animal Magnetism Unmasked" explains the distinction: "Christian Science goes to the bottom of mental action, and reveals the theodicy which indicates the rightness of all divine action, as the emanation of divine Mind, and the consequent wrongness of the opposite so-called action, —evil, occultism, necromancy, mesmerism, animal magnetism, hypnotism" (Eddy, p. 104). Certain that she was pursued by mesmerists, Eddy moved frequently and finally went into seclusion. Her flock, numbering thousands, continued to revere and worship her as the church continued to grow.

The phenomenal growth of the church can be seen as a complex reaction to modernization. Having been organized at the moment when medicine was itself professionalizing, as modern science entered a period of expansion alongside industrial capitalism, Christian Science moved to the center of cultural debate. Since its founding, the church has prompted controversy regarding its relationship with modern medicine and medical ethics, freedom of religion, the power of mind, and the separation of church and state. As concerns about public hygiene grew through the Progressive Era, Christian Science became a target of litigation over healthcare, particularly of children. Whenever children died through absent treatment or failure to vaccinate, Christian Scientists were taken to court. The new religion also drew large numbers of women in a period when women of the middle class began to move in increasing numbers into the paid workforce. Many women made a living by their practice as healers at a time when medical schools largely excluded them.

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE IN PRINT

In 1875 Eddy published the first edition of Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures, a book that had sold more than nine million copies by the time the 1994 edition appeared. In 1879 she established the church that became the Church of Christ, Scientist. In 1883 the monthly Journal of Christian Science began publication. Each number opened with a "crashing editorial," including accounts of "demonstrations," or successful healings (Cather and Milmine, p. 318). In 1908 the Christian Science Monitor became the international journal of the church. In a century of publication, the Monitor has earned a reputation for the quality and independence of its reporting. As Eddy founded it, the Monitor was devoted to self-defense and propaganda. Yet by the 1950s its style had changed. In the opinion of Charles S. Braden in Christian Science Today: Power, Policy, Practice (1958), the Monitor became "the greatest contribution the Scientists have made to modern American life" (Braden, p. 70). This achievement demands a heavy subsidy. The church Manual requires all Scientists to subscribe to the Monitor and to seek other subscribers and member advertisers. Just as the rejection of modern medicine has been advantageous to the church in many respects, the rejection of commercial advertising has preserved the independence and thereby improved the reputation of the Monitor.

DEMONSTRATIONS OF FAITH

The following letter from October 1887 was selected by Cather as one of the "demonstrations" reported in the Journal of Christian Science. The account raises the question of the dog's consciousness, implying that the dog imagined the snakebite. The notice also describes what Christian Scientists would call a right use of faith, the opposite of malicious animal magnetism or mesmerism.

Dog and Rattlesnake

DEAR JOURNAL: Our dog was bitten by a rattlesnake on the tongue a short time ago, and the verdict, as is usual in such cases, was death; but through the understanding of God's promise that we shall handle serpents and not be harmed, if we but believe, I was able to demonstrate over the belief in four days. The dog is now as well as ever.

Mrs. M. E. Darnell

Cather and Milmine, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science, p. 320.

LITERARY RESPONSES

Among responses of professional writers to Christian Science, three examples of durable literary interest—Mark Twain's, Willa Cather's, and Harold Frederic's—may suggest a broader general opinion. Commentators outside the church tend to be skeptical of the effects and the profit motive of Christian Science, even as they may question the claims of professional medicine. The fact that Scientists, many of them women, earned money while denying the effect of material medicine and the very existence of the material world—notwithstanding the wealth of the church and the opulence of its buildings—struck many observers as blatant hypocrisy. The diatribe by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835–1910) is the best known of anti–Christian Science writings, typical in its argument but exceptional, like other works of protest by Twain, for its comedy. Originally written as journalism pieces for Cosmopolitan in 1899 and North American Review in 1902 and 1903, Twain's writings on the religion were later collected in Christian Science (1907): "Its god," Twain wrote of Christian Science, "is Mrs. Eddy first, then the Dollar. Not a spiritual Dollar, but a real one. From end to end of the Christian-Science literature not a single (material) thing in the world is conceded to be real, except the Dollar" (p. 68). Moreover, Twain argued, Christian Science posed a threat to modern democracy and the Christian world. Antidemocratic, anti-intellectual, and widely popular, it was a movement as powerful as what he called Mohammedanism, a cult Twain thought was destroying the ancient intellectual traditions of the East.

Twain's Christian Science opens with a tale of calamity, a fall from a cliff in the Alps. With broken arms and legs and "one thing or another" (p. 3) Twain suffers under care of a bony and grim healer from Boston. Declaiming on the illusion of pain, the healer accidentally steps on the cat. The cat yowls. The ensuing conversation exploits the illogic: the cat must have imagined the pain but cannot imagine pain, having no imagination. The healer denies it all: "Peace!" she cries at last. "The cat feels nothing, the Christian feels nothing" (p. 11). In the end, Twain is cured by a horse doctor.

Turning to Eddy's "verbal chaos" (p. 116), Twain argues that Eddy could not have written Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures. The English is simply too good. Juxtaposing passages from Science and Health with Eddy's poetry and other "offenses against third-class English," Twain's aim is to "pierce through the cloud" (p. 238) of Eddy's language. From her autobiography, for example, Twain makes fun of Eddy's ambiguous prose: "Many pale cripples went into the Church leaning on crutches who came out carrying them on their shoulders" (p. 119). Twain also raises the issue of plagiarism—that Eddy lifted her more accomplished prose from others. While such allegations had circulated since the early days of the movement, in Twain's hands the argument was both influential and funny. Among those who reacted was Eddy herself. Twain reproduces her remarks in the book as "a friend's duty to straighten such things out" (p. 331).

"Environment," Twain argues, "is the chief thing to be considered when one is proposing to predict the future of Christian Science" (p. 93). Cather seems to have largely agreed. She approached her subject through investigative journalism and psychobiography. Both writers present Eddy's notorious illogic as a key to her success, Twain using satire and Cather epigram: "Only one idea had ever come very close to Mrs. Glover [Eddy]," Cather wrote, "and neither things present nor things to come could separate her from it. . . . Others of his pupils lost themselves in Quimby's philosophy, but Mrs. Glover lost Quimby in herself " (p. 133).

Cather never publicly acknowledged authorship of The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science. Letters discovered after her death confirmed her association with the book and the articles that preceded it in McClure's (January 1907–June 1908). Her first extended work, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy documents Cather's early technique. From the patchy structure—pieces of interviews and extracts of depositions held loosely by narrative and analysis—emerges a portrait of a vindictive, charismatic self-promoter:

To-day some of these who have long been accounted as enemies by Mrs. Eddy, and whom she has anathematised in print and discredited on the witness-stand, still declare that what they got from her was beyond equivalent in gold or silver. . . . One of the students who was closest to [Eddy] at that time says that to him the world outside her little circle seemed like a madhouse. (Pp. 155–156)

Insightful and arresting, these character sketches predict Cather's later work. Equally arresting is her sympathetic reading of Christian Science.

Cather presents Eddy's biography through a report on the appeal of the new religion to people at the edges of the modernizing world. As westward movement and urbanization reduced the population of her native New England, Eddy "gave people the feeling that a great deal was happening" (p. 123). She attracted followers by her affected speech and behavior, "an interesting figure in a humdrum New England village" (p. 122). Cather also followed the movement of Christian Science on the frontier. She read widely in the Christian Science Journal from the 1880s. How, she asked, could a loving mother in Pierre, North Dakota, watch her baby die as a healer treated him for animal magnetism? "The sufferings of the baby," Cather writes, "and the terrible fortitude of the mother sound like a passage from the earlier and harsher chapters of religious history, which so often make us wonder whether there is anything else in the world that can be quite so cruel as the service of an ideal" (p. 324). Yet these were "not ignorant or colourless people. . . . they loved each other and their children" (p. 326). Cather found that Christian Science gave people an ideal they could grasp in a world otherwise transitory and impoverished. It was, Cather maintained—as source after source proved to her—an ignorant and entirely understandable "revolt from orthodoxy" (p. 337). Eddy's obsession with malicious animal magnetism found its way through the journal into the "conduct and affections" of people around the country and abroad (p. 322). Her "teachings brought the promise of material benefits to a practical people, and the appeal of seeming newness to a people whose mental recreation was a feverish pursuit of novelty" (p. 375). Demanding conditions in the western United States increased the popularity of Christian Science: "This religion had a message of cheer for the rugged materialist as well as for the morbid invalid. It exalted health and self-satisfaction and material prosperity high among the moral virtues—indeed, they were the evidences of right living, the manifestations of a man's 'at-oneness' with God" (p. 375).

To Christian Scientists, the book was incendiary. The church took extraordinary steps to stop its publication. Failing that, they bought and destroyed large numbers of copies and, according to story, succeeded in keeping reviews out of the press. The book all but disappeared until 1993, when the University of Nebraska Press republished it.

Cather had no illusions about orthodox allopathic medicine. Like Twain, she could cite the failings of doctors. Patients did not always respond to medical treatment, and many died under medical care. The emotional value and effect of belief on physical wellbeing was likewise undeniable. Though neither Twain nor Cather refers to the work of William James (1846–1910) or Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), an awareness of the new field of psychology, as the mind cure of the nineteenth century evolved into the psychoanalysis of the twentieth, is implicit in both studies.

Rational skeptics who distrusted doctors might find an alternative in Christian Science. In the literary world, the best-known exemplar of such a view was the novelist and New York Times correspondent Harold Frederic (1856–1898), author of The Damnation of Theron Ware (1896). Frederic served as exemplar not through his writing but through the example of his life. In 1898, following a stroke, Frederic died in London while under care of Christian Scientists. He had long been an informed critic of modern medicine and modernization itself. There is no evidence that Frederic believed in Christian Science. Rather, he appears to have chosen the treatment as an act of selfdetermination. Frederic's death was a transatlantic sensation, resembling a witch hunt. This happened in part because Frederic was a popular writer and journalist and in part because the press discovered he had led a double life, with wife and children in one household and mistress and children in another. While the manslaughter case against his mistress, Kate Lyon, and the healer never went to trial, the international coverage following Frederic's death was, in Cather's opinion, a boon to Christian Science. The news "brought the new cult to the attention of thousands of people for the first time" (p. 447). For her part, Eddy thought the death of Harold Frederic had severely damaged the church. According to Ernest Sutherland Bates and John V. Dittemore in Mary Baker Eddy: The Truth and the Tradition (1932), she told her healers to stay away from such dubious cases in the future.

Professional medicine would strenuously disagree with the alternative that Frederic chose. As William Lloyd Garrison, son of the renowned abolitionist, wrote in a letter in 1908, the opposition mounted by physicians against Christian Science on grounds that Scientists were not doctors and should not be paid for their services was selfish and hypocritical: "The medical faculty is very jealous and narrow towards all not of their fellowship" (Albertine, p. 63). The highly publicized Frederic case was but one of several that arrayed the forces of modernization and professional medicine against both skeptics and Christian Scientists. Controversy over Christian Science recurred episodically throughout the twentieth century, centering often on high-profile trials. With the New Age movement and the rise of interest in spiritual healing, the debate over Christian Science and alternative approaches to health has extended into the twenty-first century.

See alsoThe Damnation of Theron Ware

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Primary Works

Cather, Willa, and Georgine Milmine. The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science. 1909. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.

Eddy, Mary Baker. Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures. 1875. Boston: First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1994.

Twain, Mark. Christian Science. 1907. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Secondary Works

Albertine, Susan. "'With Their Tongues Doom Men to Death': Christian Science and the Case of Harold Frederic." American Literary Realism 1870–1910 21, no. 3 (Spring 1989): 52–66.

Bates, Ernest Sutherland, and John V. Dittemore. Mary Baker Eddy: The Truth and the Tradition. New York: Knopf, 1932.

Braden, Charles S. Christian Science Today: Power, Policy, Practice. Dallas, Tex.: Southern Methodist University Press, 1958.

Schoepflin, Rennie B. Christian Science on Trial: Religious Healing in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.

Susan Albertine

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