God’s Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church
Fraser, Caroline. God’s Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church. New York: Picador, (1999) 2019.
Fraser admits “Now I’m delighted … [to be] counting the [Christian Science] churches as their doors close” (517). She begins and ends her carefully researched and well-written story of Christian Science with the reasons for her anger. Her description of her childhood experience (1960s) being raised in the Christian Science church is painful, where extremism played itself out in her family and church community life. As Fraser notes throughout her harsh critique, the Church had been promoting a type of ‘radical reliance’ on God’s power to heal anything—more so during the second half of the 20th century than in Mary Baker Eddy’s later days and in more recent times. It led tragically to too much (and unnecessary) suffering and dying. “It is a profoundly complex experience to be or to have been a Scientist, an experience worth understanding in its own right” (20). Her “biography of a church” (20) includes a history of Eddy’s founding of her Church and, more importantly, the history of the Church after Eddy’s passing. Fraser includes a heavy emphasis on Independent Christian Scientists—those who left the Church and their reasons for doing so. Historical events and names are clear, illustrating her understanding of what led to loss of the Church’s reputation.
ISBN-13 (Softcover): 978-0805044317
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