“It’s All in the Mind: Christian Science and A Course in Miracles” in Reading and Writing Scripture in New Religious Movements
Gallagher, Eugene V. “It’s All in the Mind: Christian Science and A Course in Miracles,” Pages 231–251 in Reading and Writing Scripture in New Religious Movements. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
Gallagher examines how Mary Baker Eddy and Helen Schucman, author of A Course in Miracles (ACIM), interpreted scripture and developed their own canons. Although Eddy denied her role as an elevation to superhuman status (236), her interpretation of Revelation 12 emphasized the uniqueness of her own revelation. Gallagher sees Eddy’s Science and Health not only as a companion to the Bible, but functioning as sacred scripture because, as with all sacred scripture, it requires a whole lifetime of study, has the power to heal the reader, and gives ever fresh theological insights. Gallagher also sees Science and Health canonized as a “system of thought” (236) which, along with the Bible, Eddy instituted and ritualized in the study of a 26-week cycle of Lessons to be read exclusively in all Christian Science services. And as Key to the Scriptures, “even [the Bible] was asserted to be unintelligible unless seen through the lenses provided by Science and Health” (240). As canon, Science and Health became “the measuring rod by which other teachings, teachers, and texts could be judged” (240). Similarly, Gallagher sees Schucman’s ACIM as indispensable to understanding the Bible, providing a mystical (‘the Voice’) interpretation of scripture, and a ritualization of its system of thought in its set, step-by-step, learning process for taking the Course.
ISBN-13 (Softcover): 978-1349493050
ISBN-13 (Hardcover): 978-1137434821