Voorhees offers new scholarship on a broad array of topics related to Christian Science identity focusing on reception history. With attention to fully resourced details and modern scholarship, Voorhees outlines the reception history of Christian Science in fields of religion, women studies, American history, politics, medicine, and metaphysics. She probes Mary Baker Eddy’s relationships with contemporary scholars, religion leaders, and students.View Annotation
Annotations Related to Sin
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Kramer’s well-researched critique on Christian Science makes her arguments easier to understand than most critics. She grasps the fundamental teachings and history of the religion well, but she left it for doctrinal reasons. Most of Perfect Peril describes her emotional and intellectual struggles with doctrinal issues. Following a crisis of faith, she concluded that Christian Science is a dangerous mind control.View Annotation
Hines’s study on the relationship between illness, disability, and sin in the healing theologies of three American-born religions, including Christian Science, highlights the 19th-century context from which they came. Reacting against the prevalent Calvinist notion of illness and disability offering salvific powers, Christian Science argues that sickness is not God-made. But sick people can feel blamed for their infirmities.View Annotation
Hardesty’s book is about the Holiness and Pentecostal movements, but because of the similarities between these movements and Christian Science, she identifies a few significant points of comparison. Although both “saw themselves as based in the Bible, following the practice of Jesus, and accomplishing the miraculous” (4), they vehemently opposed each other and sought to distinguish themselves from each other.View Annotation
Michell examines the influences, and theological connections and differences, between the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, Emma Curtis Hopkins, the 19th-century Woman’s movement, and the New Thought and New Age movements. Hopkins, unlike Eddy, would see Truth in all religions, not limited to Christianity, and focused more on a prosperity gospel.View Annotation
Michell examines in detail the remarkable similarities where the unorthodox theologies of Julian of Norwich (14th century) and Eddy (19th century) converge. Both women struggled with serious illness and near-death experiences which became the basis for profound revelation and healing. Eddy understood God as mother, and Julian’s vision of Jesus as mother reflected on the kindness and gentleness of God.View Annotation
Braswell’s primary interest in his overview of Christian Science lies in the relationship between Christian Science and traditional Christianity. Braswell quotes extensively from the primary sources of Eddy’s own writings, highlighting those passages that answer questions from the viewpoint of Christian orthodoxy. The implication of his critique is based on his view that Christian Science is declining because of its deviation from orthodoxy.View Annotation
This autobiography by John Wyndham opens with his three-year experience as a prisoner of war during WWII. His faith, grounded on his study of Christian Science, kept him alert and strong during years of solitary confinement. His personal story, a window on the serious practice of Christian Science during trying times, illustrates the basis of faith inspired by its teachings.View Annotation
Gottschalk objects to religious historians designating Christian Science as harmonialism. He argues that the emphasis on the Bible and Christ in Mary Baker Eddy’s writings precludes the focus on ‘using’ methods for the primary purpose of comfort, health and wealth, control and power, that are exercised in the service of gaining and keeping harmony in one’s own life.View Annotation
In Gottschalk’s interpretation of Mary Baker Eddy’s work, he claims that the question of evil can only be answered at the existential level of the demonstration of the sovereignty of God. He challenges both classical theodicy and process theology and argues that the status of evil as unchallengeable fact must again be brought into question.View Annotation
Benson laments that amidst increasing crime, churches have relinquished their traditional role of ethical instruction, replaced by attention to social action, psychological and philosophical theories. In Christian Science, the solution is neither in viewing men as sinners nor in reducing moral standards to a relative level, but rather showing that the individual’s real nature is honest, humane, compassionate, and temperate.View Annotation
The “Ecumenical Papers” pamphlet, published in 1969, was prepared for special occasions with representatives of several Protestant churches, including the Christian Science Church. Examples of topics included: ‘The Church’s Redemptive Mission,’ The Resurrection of Jesus,’ ‘Who is God?’ and ‘Sin and Grace.” Theological topics had shifted since Eddy’s day, but basic theological concepts were still valuable for discussion.View Annotation
Judah’s 1967 monograph on the metaphysical movements of 20th-century America remains a valuable resource for a comparison between movements and a documentation of their impact on organized Protestant Christianity. Regarding Christian Science, Judah claims most of its basic biblical doctrinal points are similar to the beliefs of historic Protestantism, but their full explanations place them outside traditional Christian theology.View Annotation
After leaving the Christian Science Church in the late 1940s, Goldsmith continued his flourishing healing and teaching practice. The Early Years is a compilation of weekly ‘Letters’ to his patients worldwide while still active as a healing practitioner in the Church. The book covers such topics as: God, Reality, Nature of Error, The Law, Prayer, Spiritual Healing, Business, Malpractice, Faith, etc.View Annotation
This flagship for Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy is used as the denominational textbook and was intended by its author to “bear consolation to the sorrowing and healing to the sick” (xii). The book’s theological premise—that Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated the spiritual facts of being—precedes the metaphysical interpretation of scripture that grounds its healing system.View Annotation