Thomas Johnsen, “Christian Scientists and the Medical Profession: A Historical Perspective,” Medical Heritage, Jan/Feb 1986, 70-77.
A historical perspective in a medical publication that looks beyond contention and stereotype to the deeper common values underlying two differing approaches to healing:
“‘The Christian Scientists – what shall we do with them?’ a South Carolina physician asked at a meeting of the state Medical Association in 1899. Many doctors have echoed this question since – sometimes in exasperation, often in bemusement, occasionally with genuine interest. The religious movement founded by Mary Baker Eddy more than a century ago not only persists, but continues to defy easy categorization. The ministry of spiritual healing for which the movement is most widely known remains controversial, and is still widely misunderstood.
“In recent years various mainstream Christian denominations, partly in response to the Christian Scientists’ example, have given fresh consideration to the place of healing in religious life. The upsurge in the last decade of fundamentalist faith healing practices, though differing radically from Christian Science, has aroused serious concerns about the legal basis for toleration of such practices in a religiously diverse and scientifically oriented society. Several highly publicized court cases have drawn attention to these issues. Yet much of the current discussion of these issues, pro and con, has gone on in a historical vacuum, with little attention to the background from which present positions have emerged. Awareness of the evolution and growth of Christian Science healing is useful in understanding the issues being raised today….”
“Christian Scientists and the Medical Profession: A Historical Perspective,” Medical Heritage, Jan/Feb 1986, 70-77. ©1986 Elsevier B. V. Reprinted by permission.