Christian Science im Lande Luthers: Eine amerikanische Religionsgemeinschaft in Deutschland, 1894–2009
Waldschmidt-Nelson, Britta. Christian Science im Lande Luthers: Eine amerikanische Religionsgemeinschaft in Deutschland, 1894–2009. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2009.
For those who read German, any serious exploration of the history and status of Christian Science in Germany from its beginnings to the present should start here. Waldschmidt-Nelson presents an objective, balanced and detailed portrayal, based on a meticulously documented examination of historical records, published (and some unpublished) writings ranging from panegyrical to dismissive, interviews and correspondence with representatives of the Christian Science church, the medical profession and the Christian clergy (both Protestant and Roman Catholic), and conversations with private individuals. From the beginning as an undergraduate guest student in California, the author has approached Christian Science from an outsider’s perspective, as a topic of research in both Germany and America (including the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston). The present volume is her Habilitationsschrift, the uniquely German post-doctoral dissertation which demonstrates independent scholarly research and qualifies its author for a professorship in a German university. Drawing on exhaustively researched sources and documenting them thoroughly, Waldschmidt-Nelson chronicles the history of Christian Science sympathetically from its founding, its strong acceptance in Germany starting in the 1880s, its hardships in the Third Reich and in communist East Germany, to its challenges in the 21st century.