“Christian Science in 20th Century Britain” Part I
Gartrell-Mills, Claire. “Christian Science in 20th Century Britain.” Religion Today 8, no. 3 (1993): 1–5.
Gartrell-Mills completed her D.Phil thesis on Christian Science in 1991 and summarizes her findings in this article with a focus on the historical role of Christian Science in Britain. Although in the early 1990s Christian Science retained “an unobtrusive, yet persistent presence in many British towns and cities” (1), Gartrell-Mills found that the Christian Science organization was “a present day example of a movement largely ossified through the provisions and statutes laid down before 1910 by its founder, Mary Baker Eddy” (2). It took hold when and where it did in America, she argued, because Christian Science was a reflection of the prevailing intellectual currents in New England, subscribed to by higher-class Americans to whom her theories most appealed. Eddy sought to expand the movement overseas in the 1890s, but her greatest interest in the expansion of Christian Science outside the United States was with Britain. Before the opening of the first Christian Science church in London in 1897, Christian Science found ready reception and based its growing appeal on drawing-room society. “Although [Eddy] never openly subscribed to theories of Anglo or British Israelism, she and many of her followers envisaged the cooperation of America and Britain as important for the eventual benefit of mankind” (4a).
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