“The 1953–1958 Archbishops’ Commission on Divine Healing and the Christian Science Response”
Harragin Hussey, Robin, “The 1953–1958 Archbishops’ Commission on Divine Healing and the Christian Science Response,” The Mary Baker Eddy Library, 30 Jan 2023, https://www.marybakereddylibrary.org/research/the-1953-1958-archbishops-commission-on-divine-healing-and-the-christian-science-response/.
In 1953, Anglican church leaders created a commission seeking a clearer understanding of divine healing, its role in their ministry, and their relationship with medical practitioners. The 15 clergy and 12 doctors appointed to the commission studied accounts of New Testament healing and examined evidence of “spontaneous cures” in the medical field. They also took up theological questions about God’s will for humanity and the purpose of suffering. The British Christian Scientists, eager to contribute, sent the commission accounts of Christian Science healings authenticated by a medical diagnosis, and the extensive process of verification of testimonies. In 1954 the commission organized a conference and invited practitioners and fellowships of spiritual healing, including a Christian Science practitioner and teacher, to describe their faith and present evidence of spiritual healing. Particularly to the Christian Scientist, the committee asked about the nature of matter and evil, how suffering and failure were understood, and whether healing was some kind of mental suggestion. The 1958 final report found little common ground or understanding between Christian Science healing and the Anglican Church’s embedding of its healing ministry in the ritual and creed of the Church, and grounding it in the medical sciences.
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