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
Resources Discussing Bliss Knapp
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Singelenberg, a social anthropologist, argued that Rodney Stark’s then-recent analysis of the ‘rise and fall’ of Christian Science overlooked two important issues that may have had a bearing on his conclusions: the Knapp Controversy, and rapid loss of financial stability due to an ambitious attempt to build a media empire.View Annotation
Gill, a feminist historian and biographer, offers a fresh view of Mary Baker Eddy’s achievements in the light of obstacles faced by women in her time. Without access to Church archives Gill relied on Peel’s archival research. Gill’s unique contribution challenges the traditional biographers’ view of Eddy as a hysterical invalid who abandoned her son and stole her ideas.View Annotation
Gottschalk explains for the general public the internal Church controversy over the publication of Knapp’s book “The Destiny of The Mother Church.” According to Gottschalk, a respected scholar and consultant for The Church of Christ, Scientist, the book makes blasphemous claims contrary to Mary Baker Eddy’s teachings. It identifies Eddy as counterpart to and equivalent of Jesus Christ.View Annotation
Volume three of Peel’s trilogy covers the final chapters of Mary Baker Eddy’s life—1892-1910—a time when Eddy struggles to balance her movement’s need for organization and preservation with its life-giving inspiration and revelation. As productive as these final decades were, Eddy’s life would continue to be plagued by personal attacks and legal suits that ultimately collapsed.View Annotation
Houpt’s book contains valuable primary sources for the history of Christian Science in the decades before and after Mary Baker Eddy’s death in 1910. It covers the life and career of Bliss Knapp, who devoted his life to serving Eddy and her cause. He is best known as the leading proponent of Eddy’s prophetic role as the woman in the Apocalypse.View Annotation
The mere publication of Knapp’s 1947 book by the Christian Science Church in 1991 caused great internal Church controversy. But from a distance of 30 years, researchers can study the meaning and role of prophecy in the early development of Christian Science. Knapp’s argument stems from his creative biblical justification of Eddy as the Woman of the Apocalypse.View Annotation