“Christian Science” in Vol. 3 of Encyclopedia of Religion
Gottschalk, Stephen. “Christian Science.” Pages 1745–48 in vol. 3 of Encyclopedia of Religion. Edited by Lindsay Jones. 15 vols. Detroit: Thomson Gale. 1993.
Gottschalk’s overview of Christian Science as “a distinct phenomenon” (1745a) begins with Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian, theistic, and biblical foundations and distinguishes her rejection of Calvinism from Unitarianism or Transcendentalism. He notes how Eddy’s quest for health “exhausted the healing methods of the time” and resulted in a wholly spiritual concept of God and creation that separated her from Phineas P. Quimby and other healers (1745b). He sees Christian Science as not philosophically derived but based on the works and salvation of Jesus, a new interpretation of the gospel, and the “operation of divine power comprehended as spiritual law” (1746a). Gottschalk compares Christian Science and traditional Christian views of Christ Jesus, the nature of evil and matter, salvation, and the healing of sin and sickness. He also distinguishes Christian Science from idealism, pantheism, mind cure, and New Thought. Gottschalk examines the motives, demographics, and social engagement of Christian Scientists; the role of The Christian Science Monitor; the founding, administrative structure, services, and spiritual education capacities of The Mother Church and its branches; Christian Science practitioners and the role of Christian Science in “reawakening the interest in Christian healing…” (1747b); challenges from secular materialism; and the “long term significance” of apparent decline coupled with a healthy reduction in insularity, more maturity, and international growth…” (1748a).
Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Library or Purchase
- Controversy: Quimby-Eddy Debate
- Official Christian Science Publication: No
- Organizations: The First Church of Christ, Scientist
- People: Eddy, Mary Baker
- People: Quimby, Phineas
- Publication Date: 1981-2000
- Resource Types: Encyclopedia or Dictionary
- Subjects: Christian Science Education
- Subjects: Christian Science Monitor
- Subjects: Church Manual, Governance, Leadership