“Christian Science” in The Soul of Medicine: Spiritual Perspectives and Clinical Practice
Driessen, Christine. “Christian Science,” Pages 152–70 in The Soul of Medicine: Spiritual Perspectives and Clinical Practice. Edited by John R. Peteet MD and Michael N. D’Ambra MD. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.
This chapter in a book about spiritual perspectives and clinical practices is devoted to the religious background, practice, and ethics of Christian Science treatment. Driessen, author of the chapter and an officially recognized Christian Science practitioner, explains that Christian Science is understood as “the universal system of Mind-healing (Mind meaning God, the divine creative intelligence of the universe) through the understanding of the omnipotence and supremacy of Spirit as the source of all creation. It is based on the teachings and healing work of … the Jewish teacher Jesus.” (152). Driessen describes the theological foundation of the Christian Science worldview, the resources for healing—practitioners, Christian Science nurses, and Christian Science nursing facilities—and the Christian Science ethics of its relationship with the medical world of the 21st century. Although Christian Science founder, Mary Baker Eddy, made provisions for Christian Scientists to consult with medical doctors in certain situations, “she is also clear that the medicine of Mind and the medicine of matter tend to negate each other” (160). Driessen claims that Western culture and medicine tend to place so much emphasis on the body and material conditions that they engender fear and helplessness in society. Christian Science practice affirms God’s allness and supremacy and strives to uplift patients and society at large.