The essential history of Christian Science may be reduced to three epochal phases: first, Mary Baker Eddy’s discovery of the principles of Christian Science; second, her establishment of the religion which bears that name; and, third, the cult’s organizational solidification following her death. It seems that after a long period of personal and domestic vicissitudes, as well as ill health, Mrs. Eddy came to believe in spiritual healing through Phineas B. Quimby in 1862. Many non-Scientists argue that she got her basic healing system from him and others, but her followers maintain that ultimately she discovered a radically different system which came by divine revelation and was recorded in her definitive volume, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, first published in 1875. As a result, the Christian Science Church was founded, followed by the establishment of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in 1881. Societies and churches were built, publishing houses were established, and the religion spread around the world. Mrs. Eddy died in 1910 at 89 years of age. Thousands revered her, others respected her, still others condemned her, and all acknowledged that she was one of the outstanding women of religious history. The story of Christian Science after the time of Mrs. Eddy has been told fully, at least in certain aspects, by Altman K. Swihart in Since Mrs. Eddy (1931) and by Charles Braden in Christian Science Today (1958). The books show that the Board of Directors have consolidated the organization which the foundress began into one of the most efficient authoritarian and rigid structures known to religious history.

Christian Science has enjoyed a steady but not uninterrupted growth since the time of its inception. ...

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