Christian Science and Organized Religion
Studdert-Kennedy, Hugh A. Christian Science and Organized Religion. Los Gatos, CA: The Farallon Press, (1930) 1961.
Studdert-Kennedy’s analysis of one of the most challenging times in the history of the Christian Science Church presents the minority (and ultimately losing) view of the dispute. The legal battle that erupted almost 10 years after Mary Baker Eddy’s passing, commonly known as the ‘Great Litigation,’ nearly brought Eddy’s church and publishing arm to a halt near the end of the three-year trial. At issue was whether the authority rested with the Christian Science Board of Directors who governed the Church or the Trustees of the Publishing Society. The Board claimed, from its interpretation of Eddy’s Church Manual, final authority over all activities of the Church, including the Christian Science Publishing Society. But the Trustees argued they had been given the legal charge, from Eddy’s Deed of Trust, to maintain their independent authority. Although the Court decided in favor of the Christian Science Board of Directors, Studdert-Kennedy argued that Eddy’s teachings of Christian Science should have been better understood and obeyed. He claimed that Eddy’s skepticism toward organized religion allowed for Principle, not a titular head, to be able to govern the work of the Christian Science Publishing Society. Obedience to a frozen interpretation of the Manual, he argued, would rule out obedience to the impersonal Principle.
ISBN-13 (Softcover): 978-1893107557
ISBN-13 (Hardcover): 978-1169726741
See also annotations:
“Mrs. Eddy’s Expressed Intention: Legal Opinions” by Clifford Smith and Walter H. Wilson
Proceedings in Equity 1919-1921 Concerning Deed of Trust of January 25, 1898 by the Christian Science Publishing Society
Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Library or Purchase
- Controversy: Church Manual
- Controversy: Great Litigation
- Official Christian Science Publication: No
- Organizations: The First Church of Christ, Scientist
- People: Dickey, Adam
- People: Dittemore, John V.
- People: Eddy, Mary Baker
- Publication Date: 1911-1955
- Resource Types: Book
- Subjects: Christian Science History after 1910
- Subjects: Church Manual, Governance, Leadership
- Subjects: Legal and Constitutional Issues
Well, upon arriving, I looked at the editors’ entry for the book, Christian Science and Organized Religion, by Hugh Studdert-Kennedy, which I consider to be one of the most important books on the history of Christian Science written by an “insider”. I must say that the editors did a poor job of capsulizing this book in my view, dismissing the court case itself as “the losing view” whereas the court master (who later went on to become a justice of the US Supreme Court) roundly spanked CSBD verbally in writing for their lawcraft in virtually bankrupting CSPS to bring Eddy’s altogether-separate publishing function to heel. Bascially CSBD “won” by constructive eviction! The court master was outraged.