Ecumenical Papers: Contributions to Interfaith Dialogue
Christian Science Committees on Publication, Office of the Manager. Ecumenical Papers: Contributions to Interfaith Dialogue. Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1969.
The “Ecumenical Papers” pamphlet was published in 1969 and prepared for special occasions on which some significant theological topics were being discussed by representatives of several Protestant churches, including the Christian Science Church. The pamphlet consists of six papers addressing the following topics: “The Church’s Redemptive Mission,” “The Resurrection of Jesus” (adapted from a The Christian Science Journal article, April 1965), “The Phenomenon of Conversion,” “Baptism and Christian Experience,” “Who is God?” and “Sin and Grace.” Theological topics shift throughout time, and this shift is noticeable from the time of Eddy’s founding to the late 1960s. The first paper on the church’s redemptive mission illustrates the Christian Science approach to the “secular Christianity” that became “barely distinguishable from that of the scientific humanist and the secular humanitarian” (1). Christian Science responds with a “spiritual revolution in men’s concept of the very universe they live in” (3b). The nature of sin and the role of baptism were especially important topics of the era and are also featured in these papers. The Christian Science theological position requires a different starting point to explain its understanding of God’s purpose and power. Not the sinning, fallen mortal, but the spiritual ‘man’ made in God’s image is the basis of its healing practice and purpose.