Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. — Psalms
The Marlène F. Johnson Fund, established in 1998 by the late Dr. Lee Z. Johnson, supports scholarly work relating to a religious body that has shared in contemporary life for over 130 years. Through research initiatives and project grants, the Fund seeks to foster an environment in which serious research and fresh insight on this spiritual tradition can flourish, and its biblical and Protestant heritage can be valued.
The Fund provides financial support for serious scholarly studies on Christian Science and the Church of Christ, Scientist. Its purpose is to contribute to a climate of honest scholarship in regard to the Church and its mission. As an independent source of support for scholarly work, the Fund takes this ideal seriously from both a religious and an academic perspective. Profound respect for truth is indispensable to the life of religion, as prophets through the ages have pointed out.
In 1963-4, the Christian Science Board of Directors convened a committee known as the Study Group on Scholarly Relations to examine broadly the question of how the denomination might be more thoughtfully engaged with the scholarly community. The committee, which included Christian Scientists from university and research posts as well as church officials, made a number of recommendations that began to bear fruit in later years.
Writing in The Lutheran Quarterly fifty years ago, an official of the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston candidly spoke of “the difficulties in the way of a really balanced view of Christian Science … Our own scholarship has not had centuries to ripen as has the great body of Lutheran learning.” As these words suggest, the maturing of scholarship on Christian Science is a gradual process, and one that is far from over as a new millennium begins.