Christian Science and Philosophy
Steiger, Henry W. Christian Science and Philosophy. New York: Philosophical Library, 1948.
This 70+ year-old book tackles a topic rarely studied in the history of Christian Science and therefore maintains its somewhat dated value today. Although Mary Baker Eddy categorizes her discovery as a science (based on its empirically proven healing practices), rather than a philosophy, Steiger sought a philosophical analysis from which he could account for the metaphysical coherence of the doctrine of Christian Science. One of the difficulties he addressed was that the classification of the doctrine of Christian Science leads toward a biblically based idealism, thus reducing the task of its investigation to a specific position among established systems of philosophy (27). But by employing Eddy’s definitions of God, man, and ‘mortal mind,’ he shifted the difficulty to a unique study of dualism versus monism. In doing so, he described the limitations of conceptual thinking (mortal mind), showing that what appears as an existential problem is actually an epistemological one (69) that he resolved through philosophical argument. In part two of the book Steiger did, however, examine the doctrine of Christian Science as a science, making the case that Christian Science metaphysics must be confirmed through its healing practice, which he called its “ethical metaphysics” (187). He cited many testimonials of healing, especially from WWII, to support his argument.