“Christian Science” in Vol. 1 of the Encyclopedia of Religion in America
Ivey, Paul Eli. “Christian Science.” Pages 440–49 in vol. 1 of Encyclopedia of Religion in America. Edited by Charles H. Lippy and Peter W. Williams. 4 vols. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage CQ Press. 2010.
Ivey’s history of Christian Science covers a broad range of topics and includes enough detail to explain the significance of key issues. General topics include a brief history of Eddy’s personal preparation for the founding of the Church, the healing theology of Christian Science, the establishment of the Church, broader contexts of the appeal of Christian Science, the role of language for its expression, the maturing years in the early 20th century, and the challenges of adapting to a changing world in the late 20th century. Ivey identifies certain policies adopted by the Church that pointed to success in the first decades after Eddy’s passing. “The standardization of services, publications aimed at the educated middle class, the equal representation of men and women in the pulpits, as well as the new distinctive edifices… demonstrated to many that Christian Science was well organized and here to stay” (444a). The Christian Science Monitor’s growing reputation as a reform-minded international daily paper revealed the Church’s larger mission. But Ivey also points to later 20th-century challenges that have proved difficult for the Church to overcome: the rise of improved health care, the growth of secularism and religious skepticism, and its use of antiquated 19th-century religious language as well as 19th-century scientific terminology.
Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Library or Purchase
- Official Christian Science Publication: No
- Organizations: The First Church of Christ, Scientist
- People: Eddy, Mary Baker
- People: Quimby, Phineas
- Publication Date: 2001-2010
- Resource Types: Encyclopedia or Dictionary
- Subjects: Christian Science History after 1910
- Subjects: Christian Science Monitor
- Subjects: Church Growth and Change
- Subjects: Medicine