One Hundred Years ago – December 3rd, 1910

Yesterday, December 3rd, 2010, marked the hundredth anniversary of the passing of the founder of the Christian Science church, Mary Baker Eddy.

A directory of online articles on this subject can be found here: ?p=197 . . .  all of which briefly mention the fact of her demise, and each author understandably choosing instead to focus on Mrs. Eddy’s accomplishments during her lifetime, and the church’s progress through the 20th century.  Why would I expect otherwise?  MBE was never one to encourage the commemoration of birthdays, or to mourn those who have ‘passed’.

(In fact, years ago I read somewhere that the euphemism ‘passed’ or ‘passed on’ originated with Christian Science as a way to remind one of the everlasting nature of Life, and to avoid those words which conjure up the idea of mortality and finitude.  Personally, my favorite reference to death is Shakespeare’s phrase:  to “shuffle off this mortal coil” . . . or, as a certain Dixieland jazz trumpet player put it, when referring to his own demise, as the day he would simply “shuffle off”.)

As I ease into writing and moderating this blog, December 3rd is a more significant date to me than it would be to someone who identifies as a practicing Christian Scientist.  It brings up a number of questions, and as I am no expert on the historic details of the events that occurred in the years before MBE’s death, or the years soon after, I don’t claim authority here ….  I just have questions.

And the main one is this:  with so much emphasis on healing, why is it that no Christian Scientist (or anyone, for that matter) to date has actually overcome physical death?

Clearly, in 1910 there were factions of the CS church who held firm to the belief that MBE would do just that, and it is very difficult to find information online about what became of those factions, or how in fact they eventually managed to come to terms with the fact of her physical demise.

It seems to me that the ‘demonstration’ of healing, whether it be from the flu or an injury, should carry over to the time of the final affliction, which no one to my knowledge has yet shown to be possible.   I think I can anticipate the response of many Christian Scientists: that death is not real.  But if death or any sort of physical affliction is not real, then why bother with healing at all?  Why hold that as the standard?

I realize that this goes right to the root of one of the main tenets that distinguishes Christian Science from other religions . . . and why not begin there?  I hope there will be discussion and comments.

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Val Kilmer’s film

Actor Val Kilmer was raised in Christian Science and he is working on a feature-length film about the life of Mary Baker Eddy, with the added twist of depicting Mark Twain and his relationship to Eddy and Christian Science.

The Twain/Eddy film

Mark Twain & Mary Baker Eddy through the eyes of Val Kilmer

What do you think?

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Inauguration of the Christian Science Inquiry blog site


This blog is being created for anyone who currently identifies as a Christian Scientist, or a former Christian Scientist, or who was “raised in Christian Science” as a child.  It is meant to be a place for inquiry and discussion into our personal experiences both within and outside the CS Church, and an exploration into the spiritual and psychological aspects of involvement with organizations and belief systems such as CS.  This blog is being moderated by someone who was born to a third generation of avid CS church members, who attended CS Sunday school nearly every Sunday from age three to age fifteen, and who experienced a certain amount of trauma in her own life while attempting to come to terms with the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, and, at the same time, developed an appreciation for what MBE was attempting to bring forth.  As time goes on, more will be added about my own journey with CS and other spiritual paths, which will be available on the ‘About the Moderator’ tab.  For the time being, I welcome you . . . whoever you are . . . to check back, to subscribe, and to participate . . .  in a civil and lively dialogue about the evolution of consciousness through and beyond Christian Science.

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