“The Image That Heals”
Murphy, Carol. “The Image That Heals.” Pastoral Psychology (February 1971): 37–42.
From her Quaker perspective, Murphy argues that Bible readers ought to suspend criticism against Christian Science long enough to consider Eddy’s logic and healing implications of the Biblical dictum that ‘man’ is made in the image of God. Indeed, “it is easier to write about sin and the Fall of ‘man’” (37) than to grapple with the healing ramifications of reflecting the wholly divine. “Bio-chemistry can describe disease,” she argues, “but not health, which requires a holistic frame of reference” (39). Murphy finds a parallel to the experience of George Fox, founder of Quakerism, in the Christian Science claim that the importance of healing is the light it lets through (38). Through Eddy’s idea that God is the Principle of ‘man,’ Murphy sees how the logos or working principle of God and ‘man’ is the same. In classical philosophy, this Christian Science claim appears to exalt essence over existence. But the image of God in ‘man’ “is no mere static essence; it is a dynamic programming” (40). We often waver between our religious teachings on the supremacy of God and the supremacy of mechanical determinism. But when our body-cells betray us, Murphy concludes, “only the wholeness of the person whose cells these are can answer this mystery” (41).
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