New Religious Movements: A Documentary Reader
Daschke, Dereck and W. Michael Ashcraft, eds. New Religious Movements: A Documentary Reader. New York: New York University Press, 2005.
The book’s introduction establishes an important framework for understanding the content selected for each of the faith groups within the New Religious Movements (NRM) study. Although the term, NRM, was coined to describe innovative religious groups in the 1960s and 1970s, older groups, such as Christian Science, had also been challenging the Christian mainstream in the United States since the nineteenth century. NRMs “are earthquakes … and they react to earthquakes” (10), thus requiring a wide variety of approaches to their study. This volume draws primarily from sociological methods as well as the broader classification of religious families. Each NRM under study contains primary documents, and in the chapter on Christian Science, those documents include writings from Mary Baker Eddy and some testimonials. The five-page description of Christian Science is presented within the context of this typological study. It covers the metaphysical origins of Christian Science through Eddy’s own experiences; a theological foundation for its teachings; a description of its practice of healing; a comparison with mainstream Christian doctrine; an explanation of its church polity; an overview of Eddy’s successes and controversies; and a recognition of The Christian Science Monitor which “far exceeded its original mandate as a mouthpiece for Christian Science” (29).
ISBN-13 (Softcover): 978-0814707029
ISBN-13 (Hardcover): 978-0814707029
See also annotations:
“Western Esoteric Family IV: Christian Science-Metaphysical” in Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions by J. Gordon Melton
“Christian Science” in Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America by John K. Simmons
“The Christian Scientists” in America: Religions and Religion by Catherine Albanese