“Honesty, Blasphemy, and The Destiny of the Mother Church”
Gottschalk, Stephen. “Honesty, Blasphemy, and The Destiny of the Mother Church.” The Christian Century 108, no. 32 (November 6, 1991): 1028–31.
Gottschalk, a respected scholar, editor and consultant for The Church of Christ, Scientist, contextualized for the public the serious internal controversy of 1991. At issue was the Church’s publication of a book (The Destiny of the Mother Church, Bliss Knapp) making what Gottschalk considers blasphemous claims contrary to Mary Baker Eddy’s teachings. Although the book, identifying Eddy as counterpart to and equivalent of Jesus Christ, had been specifically banned from publication by the Christian Science Board of Directors in 1948, the question of publication resurfaced when the conditions of the author’s will were about to expire: that when the book appeared in ‘substantially all Reading Rooms,’ the Church would receive $98 million from its estate. Pressure to reverse the earlier decision came when the Church was struggling with extreme financial pressure due to its recently expanded news operations. Gottschalk argued that the official Church justification was inconsistent and a sell-out of its deepest principles. The Church was “…drastically subordinating the spiritual nurturing of members to secular modes of outreach” (i.e. The Christian Science Monitor) (1031). It was also compromising its own compliance with Eddy’s proscription against members’ circulation of incorrect literature. Gottschalk hoped for a strengthening catalyst among members to exercise Eddy’s provision to take their own moral stand.
Print ISSN: 0009-5281
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Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Online - Academic Credentials or Fee
- Controversy: Bliss Knapp’s "Destiny"
- Official Christian Science Publication: No
- Organizations: The First Church of Christ, Scientist
- People: Knapp, Bliss
- Publication Date: 1981-2000
- Resource Types: Article
- Subjects: Biographies and Chronologies
- Subjects: Christian Science History after 1910
- Subjects: Church Growth and Change