“Conflict to Coexistence: Christian Science and Medicine”
Fox, Margery. “Conflict to Coexistence: Christian Science and Medicine.” Medical Anthropology 8, no. 4 (1984): 292–301.
Fox’s analysis of the relationship between Christian Science healing practices and medicine covers the one-hundred-year-plus history between the publication of Science and Health through the publication of this article in 1984. She argues that “Christian Science today enjoys relatively harmonious relations with the law because the sect has modified its practices over the years in deference to medicine, law, and the influence of science in general on cultural values” (293a). She adopted a “conflict orientation … where the data are selected to illustrate important phases of the interaction” (293b), but she notes that the intervals between phases were relatively quiet. The article consists mostly of her identification of four chronological phases of the relationship, and her interpretation of the data. These illustrate the process of interaction: 1) the modification of positions; 2) legal recognition; 3) the resolution of issues; and 4) mutual accommodation. Speaking of mutual accommodation does not suggest that either system is adopting the other’s beliefs and practices, but rather each has left its mark on the other “in ways that have changed approaches to medical treatment as a whole” (298b).
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